Fast Fitness Injury Recovery Techniques : Is your daily running game sidelined by foot pain? Is a back ache keeping you out of the gym? Common fitness and overuse injuries can bring your routine exercise to a halt, but with the right tips and helpful natural remedies, they don’t have to keep you on the couch for long. Don’t miss these go-to recovery tips and techniques:
Recovering from a fitness injury like plantar fasciitis or a torn meniscus in your knee takes time and can mean that you are unable to run or play sports for weeks or even months. Inactivity can fuel bad habits like eating a poor diet and not drinking enough water. To speed recovery and give your body the nutrition it needs to heal damaged tissues, you must intake a healthy diet of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Fresh fruits, hearty vegetables, dark leafy greens, lean meats, seeds like chia and quinoa, whole grains like brown rice and farro, nuts, healthy fats like avocado . . . the list goes on! Eating a healthy diet helps improve your recovery time as well as keep your weight on track while your exercise may be limited.
Rest Before You Return
Too often athletes and avid workout gurus want to return to their normal fitness routine as fast as possible, putting their weakened point of injury, i.e. ankle joint or knee, at greater risk of reinjury. Rest serves an important purpose in lowering the stress levels on the body so it can focus on targeting repair cells to rebuild and heal damaged areas.
For lower leg injuries, resting and elevating the injured leg also helps to alleviate painful inflammation and swelling. Want to make the most of your time at rest? Find a good book to read or take up a resting habit like coloring, crosswords, knitting, or writing, which can help keep your mind sharp while your body takes a break.
Injury recovery is as much about how you approach restarting your workout or play once you have mostly healed. This may include incorporating the use of orthotic aids when you are exercising or playing sports.
Orthotic aids include a whole family of sleeves, braces, wraps, insoles, and bandages that help cushion, support, and align various areas of the musculoskeletal system. For example, a runner recovering from stone pain, Achilles tendinitis, or plantar fasciitis may decide to wear a shoe insole when they return to running to prevent re-injury – read more about this.
Ice and Heat Correctly
Did you know that you should only ice a fitness injury like a sore muscle or sprained ankle for 10 to 20 minutes at a time? In doing so, you avoid potentially developing ice burn, and you give your body the boost in blood flow it needs once the ice pack is removed and the area warms up again. Icing also helps reduce swelling and should always be applied before heat therapy is used.
Once an injury has been iced once or multiple times, a heat pad can be applied to provide temporary pain relief as well as to increase blood circulation to the injured area, flushing out built up toxins and rushing through nutrients and oxygen to fuel repair.
If you find yourself wearing a knee brace during basketball games and still having trouble with pain or swelling afterwards, you might want to consider cross-training with a different low-impact sport to give your knee a break. Cross-training is simply a matter of finding a different activity that can still give your muscles and bones a workout but cause less stress and impact to vulnerable joints.
For example, basketball players and runners might try rowing, swimming, cycling, or hiking on the days where they want to work out but avoid hurting their legs. Cross-training also adds variety to a rigorous training schedule and gives you the chance to engage muscle groups you wouldn’t normally use during your regular workout.
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