Enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle is definitely imperative to your health but with higher levels of physical activity also comes a higher potential to pick up injuries while training. These setbacks can be detrimental to your training regimen, and get in the way of achieving your goals. It’s impossible to get into a healthy rhythm and routine if you’re constantly being laid off with strains and pains that prevent you from training or playing sport.
It is possible to be proactive and do certain things to make you less likely to pick up injuries but they’re an ever present aspect of an athletic lifestyle. For this reason, we had a chat with our resident sports scientist who gave us few tips that can help you to get back on track faster than ever before. If you continuously struggle with injury and find that it takes forever for you to recover, then read on.
1. Eat Right-Eat Healthy
Nutrition is a key component of injury rehabilitation that is often overlooked. In fact, a well-designed nutrition plan can help to speed up the healing process.
When your body is injured, protein is key because it helps repair and strengthen muscle and connective tissue. If you don’t incorporate adequate amounts of protein, you’ll be limiting the rate at which your body can rebuild and recover.
Micronutrients also play a vital role in accelerating recovery. These include groups of vitamins like A, B, C, and D, minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc, and other essential nutrients like antioxidants. These work together to support tissue regeneration and repair, as they help to support early inflammation, reverse post-injury immunosuppression, assist in collagen formation, strengthen connective tissue, as well as support protein synthesis.
2. Hot/Cold Immersion
You must have heard or seen this before and that’s because it works. Alternating between hot and cold baths helps reduce oedema and bruising by causing vasodilation and vasoconstriction of blood vessels, helping blood flow changes and inflammatory response. An immersion ratio of hot to cold bath being 3:1 for a duration of 20 minutes is recommend. You’ll be ready to go in no time at all!
There aren’t many people in the world who in their right mind would refuse a rejuvenating massage. Massages are used by athletes to prepare for exercise and accelerate recovery from training and competitions, and are known to aid with decreasing swelling, reducing pain, enhancing waste product removal and promoting healing by increased delivery of nutrient and oxygen rich blood flow. Plus, your body is also afforded with some much needed restoration and relaxation.
4. Eccentric Loading Exercises
Change up what you normally do in the gym, the difference will help strengthen your body and mind. Eccentric loading exercises focus on slowing down the elongation of the muscle in order to challenge the muscle, which will lead to larger, stronger muscle fibres undergoing the process of repair. Eccentric loading also improves muscle coordination and balance. Examples include shoulder rotations and squats for the knees.
5. Get Balanced
If you’re a perfectionist, then you’ll understand the true value of symmetry. It’s simply easier on the eye. Muscle imbalance can put stress on your joints, ligaments and muscle. This is due to one muscle group being overworked, which increases your injury risk.
An example: this can occur when lifting weights if you use your biceps more than your triceps during exercises. The result is that the biceps become much stronger, relative to the triceps which could make the elbow or shoulder joint more vulnerable to injury. The solution is to balance yourself out, you’ll see what difference it makes.
Every single person on the face of the earth has to sleep at some point, and for good reason. A lack of sleep can contribute to a myriad of health complications and issues that could be overcome quite easily, and this is no different when it comes to injury recovery.
Sleep plays an important role in the regenerative process following injury. While sleeping your body secretes hormones that are essential for regulating the immune system, muscle mass, connective tissue repair, and energy production. So make sure to get in some good quality sleep of 8-10 hours regularly, especially if you’re coming back from injury.
The reports provide insight into your genes and your inherent propensity to potential injury risk, which helps you understand how your body reacts to a specific training regimen, as well as if you’ll need more of specific nutrients to in the recovery process. You’ll also gain knowledge of how fast or slow you recover in the fitness report, helping you to design your ideal training plan for optimum results.
Thus, by understanding how your body works with DNAFit, you are already equipped with a proactive means of combatting injuries and knowing how to treat yourself better. Having information such as this can prove to be a huge ally I allowing you to keep progressing forwards, rather than getting set back to square one.