It really does happen to the best of us. We get injured and we get down about the fact that all of your training and hard work has now gone to waste, now that you’ve got to take care of your injury. But one thing is for sure – that it IS OK to train while nursing an injury. Here are a few suggestions to keep you training while at the same time allowing you to take care of what ails you.
- WATCH YOUR DIET. Nutrition is often underrated and overlooked. Healing from an injury can take weeks or even months (depending on the person), but you can dramatically accelerate the healing process by getting adequate nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Healing is largely dependent on blood supply and the stronger the blood supply, the faster you can heal because blood supplies the injured area with important oxygen and nutrients which help the injury heal. Certain foods can promote inflammation within the body, while others have an anti- inflammatory effect. Avoid foods such as fried foods, processed white flour, eggplant, hot peppers and eat more foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Be sure to drink fresh, organic juices made from raw veggies because raw veggies are high in important enzymes and vitamins that can speed up the healing process.
2. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REAL INJURY AND PAIN. Small nagging aches and pains are all part of training and you should definitely tough it out but if you have a legitimate injury, it is always best to stop and evaluate. The most obvious symptom of an injury is pain. So if you experience severe pain, stop or take a break until the pain is manageable enough to continue. If the pain refuses to go away, just stop and see a doctor.
3. R.I.C.E. If you have an acute injury you will probably experience mild to severe swelling around the site of the injury due to the fact that damage tissue usually swells. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation is a great way to treat injury, reduce swelling alleviate pain, protect the injured area and accelerate the healing process. Ice – reduces swelling and provides temporary short- term pain relief by reducing blood flow to the area. 15 min on and 15 min off is recommended. Compression – Just like ice, compression reduced swelling. Use a bandage wrap plus ice to make the treatment more effective and heal the injured area faster. Elevation – This works best when raised above your heart. E.g if you have a sprained ankle, pop it up on a few pillows while you lie down. Most injured can be effectively treated using RICE, but if you have a more serious injury you may need to see a doctor.
4. STAY POSITIVE. Injures can be a real bummer, but research suggests that maintaining a positive and upbeat attitude when injured or rehabbing can help speed up the healing process. So instead of looking at your injury as bad luck or an obstacle, think of it as an opportunity to work on and improve a weaker body part while the injured parts heal up. It always pays to look on the bright side, even if you are injured stay positive and you can still make progress whilst injured.