If you exercise a lot, you might have experienced a workout-related injury already. It can be minor such as a strained muscle in your arm, making it a bit trickier to get your sweater on like a normal person – or it can be a more serious injury, keeping you from exercising at all. There are ways to get back on track a bit faster, though, besides from the regular ‘rest and keep the area cool.’
Here is a handful of ways to recover from a workout injury a bit faster, as well as how you can prevent them from happening in the first place.
Avoid the ego-lift
Let’s start with the prevention first. If you’re already struggling with pain in your wrists, back or knees after lifting too heavily, you should know better by now. Some never learn, though, and they don’t realize that although they have the right technique, all it takes is a slight tweak in your posture or a slightly too fast descent, and you’re bound to put up with the pain for a while.
Don’t lift more than you know you’re able to handle, and the chance of injuring yourself when all you want to do is build some muscles will be so much smaller.
Believe it or not, but most injuries related to fitness happen on the field rather than in the gym. This study found that those participating in sports such as football, basketball, and gymnastics are substantially more likely to experience an accident.
And remember that the ‘no pain no gain’ mentality is completely wrong. If something hurts, stop doing it, and give yourself a break. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right – it’s not a sign that you should keep pushing yourself.
So you’ve suffered an injury in any way, and you’ve learned your lesson. Start by following the normal RICE procedure of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Your painful spot should be iced for about 15 minutes to cool down and give it about 45 minutes before you apply the ice pack again.
Have a look at this article about MEAT, by the way, and combine the techniques of both to recover a bit faster.
You don’t want to suffer damage from the ice as well, on top of everything. When the ice is applied, you should compress the area and keep it high. Follow this routine for a couple of days, and you should be able to reduce the swelling and get back on the field – or in the gym.
There are more modern variations available as well, though, in case you’ve either suffered a painful injury or if you keep pushing yourself a bit too hard. Consider a sports massage, for example, or try cryology to rejuvenate your entire body. It will feel great as well, so you might want to continue with this even when you’re all healed.
An active life leads to wear and tear on your body, but it also helps to keep your bones and joints strong as you age.
The trick is to challenge yourself to the kind of exercises you’ll be able to recover from – and not the ones that will render an arm, a knee or your back useless for a week or two.