By Zach Columbia BS. NASM, FPT
Injuries happen! It’s extremely rare for someone to get injured under our coach’s supervision. Unfortunately, our coaches can’t be with you 24/7 and injuries do happen outside of the gym. Yes, getting injured is painful, but it doesn’t have to prevent you from staying on track and achieving your goals!
First off, the best way to heal an injury, is to prevent it before it happens. Unless an accident occurs, it’s unlikely that you “just” got injured. Injuries happen over time from compensation, not taking care of your muscle tissue, and ignoring the warning signs. If you start to feel a reoccurring twinge, pull, tightness, or pain in the same spot, then there’s an issue. You’re probably not injured yet, but if you don’t do something about it, eventually you will be. So, what should you do to prevent an injury from occurring in the first place? Step one, ask your coach! We probably have a simple stretch or trigger point technique you can use to fix the problem. If not, your coach will tell you to talk to our Muscle Therapy Team. Step two, listen to your coach! And step three, do what your coach tells you to do! It’s simple, take care of your body and it will take care of you.
Now like I said, accidents do happen and sometimes it’s too late for us to prevent the injury. If you do get injured what is the best course of action? Well… allow me to be brutally honest; the answer is NOT stop working out! It always amazes me how easily people will give up on their goals. Sometimes I wonder if people want to get hurt so they have an excuse to quit. When someone experiences an injury, too often, they immediately stop working out and then give up on their diet. Outside of self-amputation, these are probably the two worst things you can do! A healthy diet is crucial to a speedy recovery (For more info read Coach Raquel’s article, “Can Food Accelerate The Healing Process During An Injury”), and all the research shows exercise speeds recovery.
Exercise improves circulation which assists with recovery and healing. Additionally, the body requires anabolic hormones to repair damaged tissue. Exercise, especially strength training increases circulation of androgens including testosterone, which play a major role in tissue repair. Another added benefit of training while injured, is maintaining strength.
Inactivity can result in a 33% loss of strength in as little as fourteen days. Thankfully, research shows that unilateral training (training one side) results in 7-11% increased strength on the opposing side. In other words, if you break your leg, training the opposite leg will not only benefit the side being worked, but also the injured side.
Equally important, is the mental side effects an injury can cause. Injuries can cause depression or a feeling of decreased motivation. Continuing on a workout regimen helps the individual stay motivated and releases endorphins, which not only makes you feel good, but also helps reduce pain.
In conclusion, its easy to use injury as an excuse to quit working out. However, you’re doing yourself a huge disfavor. Not only is it going to take you longer to recover, but everything you’ve been working towards is going to be lost. Returning back to your normal workout routine will seem like a daunting task after this and your less likely to start back up when you said you would.
Are you trying to workout with an injury? We can keep you in top shape. Contact us today to make an appointment.