We all know that recovery is imperative for any exercise routine – but what happens when you’re derailed from your normal workout schedule due to an injury? From shin splints and broken bones to bruised knees and muscle pulls, it can be frustrating to have to sit on the sidelines for a bit to allow yourself to heal properly. However, it is necessary to give your body some time to get back in top shape – and to get yourself back to the playing field or weight room soon. Let’s check out some of the top ways that you can help your body recover from an injury!
Although it might not seem like it, getting enough adequate sleep each night is imperative to injury recovery. As you move through the stages of sleep, your body increases its blood flow (which helps bring nutrients to the injury site) and also releases human growth hormone, which is necessary for muscle repair. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body decreases the amount of growth hormone that is produced…and in turn, makes it harder to heal.
As soon as you notice that an injury has occurred, ice is your best bet for reducing swelling – and subsequently, helping you heal faster. If you’ve got an ice pack available right at the onset of an injury, place it gently against the skin, but with a barrier between the two, such as a washcloth. The best rotation of ice would be every 15-20 minutes, and as often as you can for the first day or two after an injury in order to help speed healing and reduce inflammation.
It can certainly be difficult to not be able to play the sport you used to play, run at the speed you usually do, or lift weights as your pre-injury body allowed ... but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything at all. Cross-training is an excellent way for your body to keep moving and blood flowing while your injury continues to heal. There are all sorts of modifications available for working around injuries; for example, if you’ve injured your wrist (but you’re an avid tennis player), then you can switch up your normal routine and go for a run instead…or, if you’ve hurt your leg (and you love to squat heavy), now would be a good time to practice your pull-ups or work on som