As anyone who’s experienced the feeling can attest, having an injury from sport or training can become a life-altering circumstance if left untreated. Pain during exercise, mental health issues and a dip in confidence can all be unwelcome symptoms that come from untreated injuries. Deploy the right tactics, however, and you can be back on your feet in no time — training exactly how you used to and scorching through personal bests on the regular.
Below, with the help of Rachel Butcher (ANutr), Head of Nutrition at Natural Fitness Food and Third Space Elite Personal Trainer and Education Coordinator Darren Bruce, we arm you with the right tactics to help you bounce back from the doldrums of an injury quicker than you can say ‘percussive therapy’.
Don’t Rush Back
Keen to hit the squat rack or your favourite class ASAP? Take a beat, dial down the intensity and don’t be tempted to rush back until you’re completely ready. “Don’t rush back too soon. After an injury break you lose some strength and flexibility,” explains Bruce. “Going full-throttle when you’ve become deconditioned is how you’ll get another injury. Listen to your body.”
Watch Your Nutrition
Your nutrition, as you’re aware, is the most vital part of your training and fitness journey — so make sure you’re paying adequate attention to how you’re fuelling your body during an injury. “Your nutrition plays a part in your healing process, eating whole foods and drinking plenty of water will help the process,” says Bruce.
Similarly, you may be tempted to reduce your caloric intake during a phase of inactivity and healing. But, says Butcher, maintaining a healthy and plentiful diet is key to the healing process. “Consuming the appropriate level of food for energy is vital for the recovery process. Many try to drastically reduce their intake due to being less physically active, but in fact consuming adequate energy and protein is optimal,” she explains. “Healing takes energy.”
Exercise Smarter, Not Harder
“Do some corrective exercises,” advises Bruce. “These can help you correct movement asymmetries.” Similarly, make sure you’re not skipping elements of your rehabilitation sessions: especially your warm-up. “Going through a comprehensive warm-up is essential to any session and even more so when you’re returning from an injury.” Don’t be scared to outsource your comeback plan, either. “Try to find a good physical therapist as they’ll help you map out the road to full recovery,” Bruce advises. “Your therapist can map out corrective exercises for you.”