Getting injured while working out or playing a sport can be stressful. Whether you’re an athlete or passionate about sports, an injury could prevent you from undertaking even the most simple exercises and set you back.
You might be tempted to put on a brave face and push through the pain. However, this could lead to long-term damage and worsen the injury in the future. That’s why it is important to get help early and invest in recovery immediately.
These 3 effective tips will help you get started on your recovery journey.
Most athletes and fitness enthusiasts are already familiar with “R.I.C.E.” — the mnemonic for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. It is usually the first recommended step on your road to recovery. This treatment works for most injuries or discomfort, including back pain, sprained joints, or weak limbs.
As soon as you notice a pain in your body, you will need to stop what you’re doing and rest. Then apply an ice pack to relieve any swelling and pain. If the injury still hasn’t subsided, the area will need to be compressed or wrapped with an elasticized bandage or cloth. This should be firm but loose enough for blood to circulate as normal.
Finally, the injured part should be kept elevated above heart level to reduce any pressure on the injury. If the pain persists or if the injury is too complicated to treat yourself, always consult a specialist or physiotherapist for advice.
You can avoid several injuries if you follow a strict warm-up routine before exercising. You can stretch each part of your body on the spot or do some light cardio to warm your muscles and tissues up before doing more strenuous activity.
Stretching is just as important after an injury as well. It will help keep your muscles moving and your body loose, encouraging the injured area to heal. However, you should always consult a specialist before moving an injured body part. Slow and small stretches can help with blood circulation and will aid in overcoming soreness.
Incorporate a few basic stretches as part of your daily exercise routine, both pre and post-workout. Do not stretch if something hurts, and always listen to your body to learn what it needs.
Your body will need all the help it can get to recover quickly and efficiently. Some doctors might recommend that you add extra supplements to your diet to aid in your healing. Many of the proteins and vitamins that your body needs are found in common foods you buy at the supermarket, so it’s easy to maintain a healthy, clean and nourishing diet.
Some foods that will help you heal include:
- Eggs and salmon: These are great sources of protein and healthy fats
- Dark leafy greens: Vegetables like kale and spinach provide vitamin C, magnesium, and other anti-inflammatory immunity-boosting nutrients your body needs
- Berries, nuts, and seeds: Eat these for antioxidants, minerals, and immunity health
Invest a good amount of time in your healing period. Rushing into your normal routine could just make things worse and bring back your injury in a worse way. Instead, start slowly. Once you notice positive changes in your health, you will eventually be able to get back on track.
No matter how big or small your injury is, it is important not to let it discourage you. A positive and hopeful mental outlook is key to a rapid recovery. An injury is only a temporary setback, so if you follow these tips, you’ll slowly ease yourself back to your normal routine in no time.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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