As someone who finds joy in regular exercise, we know the agony of not being able to do what we love when recovering from an injury. The top priority when we're recovering is to find out how we can recover faster & come back stronger. Here are a few pointers on how you can recover quicker & more effectively!
Some might argue that prevention is not a part of the recovery process, but shouldn't the aim be to not get injured in the first place? Effective injury prevention could significantly reduce the chances of an injury occurring, allowing you to remain active for longer periods of time.
1. Cardio & Strength Training:
Incorporating some forms of strength training & cardio in your weekly exercise routines can make a huge difference in helping to prevent injuries.
Strength training helps to strengthen your muscle fibers & joints which in turn lessens the stress placed on your body during exercise and less stress means less injuries!
2. Use Protection Gear:
Using some form of protection gear during exercise can help to stabilize areas that would otherwise be prone to injuries. For example, using an ankle brace/guard greatly minimizes the chances of rolling your ankle, better safe than sorry!
We came across an interesting acronym recently, "RICE". RICE is a basic method that consists of 4 simple steps for efficient recovery & can be applied to any injury.
1. R: The R in RICE stands for REST! You probably heard this one, rest is perhaps one of the most important factors when trying to recover from an injury.
When you're resting your cells repair any damage to joints & ligaments, so the more rest you get, the faster your rate of recovery!
2. I: The I stands for ICE, applying ice on an injury will be immensely help in the first two days. Ice helps to reduce inflammation and numbs the pain, effectively keeping your injury from swelling up.
You should ideally ice an injury for about 15-20 minutes every 3 hours in the first two days to allow for a more comfortable recovery.
3. C: C for Compression, compression means wrapping the injured area tightly with a tape or medical bandage in order to keep your joint in the optimal recovery position, alternatively you could also use a guard or brace that can be tightened/adjusted.
Bear in mind that the injured area should be wrapped tightly, but if you feel numbness or tingling just loosen it slightly to allow circulation.
4. E: The last letter stands for ELEVATION, Keeping the injured area elevated is more important than you think. The key to elevating an injury is to keep it raised above your heart level, will helping minimize swelling by allowing fluid to drain away from the area allowing for a more comfortable recovery.
There are certain changes you can make in your daily lifestyle that can help to improve the rate of recovery, some of these small and minor tweaks can go a long way in your recovery journey.
1. Eat a high protein diet:
Your body needs protein to help build and repair muscle, skin, and other body tissues. Additionally, protein also helps fight infection, balance body fluids, and carry oxygen through your body
Sources: Red meat (Beef, Lamb), White meat (Chicken, Fish), Nuts (Almonds, Peanuts), Eggs.
2. Keep stress off the injured area/Don't use if possible:
As much as possible, try to refrain from using your injured limb/ankle in order to avoid unnecessary stress placed on the injured area. Refraining from using the injured area will eliminate any risk of further damaging the tendons & tissues allowing a speedy recovery.
3. Get plenty of sleep:
When we are asleep, our cells & tissues regenerate. So getting as much sleep as possible will allow for faster & more effective recovery. Additionally, not getting enough sleep puts will hinder our recovery rate & it could even lead to a higher risk of injury. So get some shut eye!
No matter how well you take care of your body, everyone will get injured at some point in their life. But we can try our best to prevent them by taking the necessary measures so that we can remain in action for as long as possible!