Back on track

Back on track

Isn’t it a pain in the ass when you’re doing so well towards achieving your goal/goals and you fall down with an injury?  Short answer – Yes ! It’s like you’ve been pummeled by a meteor 6 feet under whilst you’re on the home straight and it’s not a good feeling let me tell you that.

Injuries my fellow readers are inevitable and we will one day fall down with something or another whether it an annoying little bug pestering your cells or damage to your connective tissues or whatever else you can think of, we will all eventually fall down to one of these irritations!  But like the famous old saying ‘It’s not how hard you fall but how fast you get up’.  In a way yes this does imply but in terms of ‘how fast you get up’ mmm yes you want to get back fast, fit and fantastic but you need to take your time with it!  That’s not to say you’re going to laze on your couch eating doughnuts, feeling sorry for your poor little wrist and watching twilight because you’ve hit a low!  You need to get up with do it right, do it smart and you will get up fast!  So I am writing this to give you a few tips of how to fight back stronger after an injury.

First rule of thumb – Your nutrition must be amazing!  I mean perfect as in you should be eating clean and try to avoid cheat meals and too many sugary foods.  I comprehend that you will be low and therefore serotonin levels (happy hormone) won’t be secreted in large amounts by the brain and this in turn signals you to eat sugary sweet foods which will improve these levels to keep you satisfied.  However, your sugars should come from natural sources such as berries, bananas, dark chocolate, cacao powder, grapes..you get my drift.  Remember people you are injured and depending on the severity of the injury determines your mobility.  So if your legs are stuck in casts you’re not going to be doing any walking around or deadlifts let’s be honest.  So you need to think of what you are eating and may have to cut down on excess calories due to the lack of movement.  Also, it may be helpful to supplement with vitamins and minerals and even cod liver oil.  Lots of people take these whilst they’re fit and healthy to help keep internal systems and tissues supple.  But when you realise you are injured it is a good idea to take some of these to aid your recovery.  You may be prescribed medicines too so make sure you’re taking that course of action!  I will reiterate this…drink plenty of water!  This will help keep muscles hydrated, connective tissues elastic and aid in toxin removal.  You know the standard procedure when you injure a limb you chuck it in some ice and elevate it right, well what that elevation does is to help remove waste and fluids produced by cells which are repairing the damaged area.  So the same rule applies; keep hydrated to allow your kidneys and bowels to do their job efficiently.

Second rule of thumb – Rest is key to your recovery.  We don’t grow whilst lifting weights but when we’ve put them down, gone home and gone to bed.  The same applies again when there is an injury.  You need to rest that area whether it a virus, flu, fractured leg etc you need good amounts of rest.  Now if you’ve got an injury which is not virus, fungi, bacterial related or any other sort of pathogen and it’s tissue damage, rest that area, however, there is nothing wrong with the rest of your body.  So this is not an excuse to be lazy and end up ordering people to get you curries, you can still be mobile and keep moving other parts of your body.  You may not believe it but this will still burn calories.  If you’ve injured an area of your upper body then just do lower body exercises and vice versa, you need to think smart people! But please take it easy, I don’t want you to over do it even if you are working with only 3 limbs.  You still need to remember that with pain, tiredness kicks in and this in turn affects your focus and then this can lead you to not concentrate on the task at hand and boom – another injured part!  Oo how much does that annoy you eh!  So yeah rest is key, you may need to ice, heat packs and put the wrap the area with a brace, however try to keep mobile with other healthy parts this will help avoid fat deposition!

Third rule of thumb – When you feel that the injured part is starting to be less of a nuisance and you have some mobility in there then start to slowly activate that area.  In time you will get more mobility in there and you will feel more comfortable in moving that area.  Flexibility might have decreased however by moving that area around you will help build it back up.  This process might take a long time again depending on the injury but you need to be patient and persevere.  Soon when you gain more strength in that area then start to add more stress and load on to that part and continue as you do.

Fourth rule of thumb – Okay so now after a set amount of time you’re ready to hit the weights room again or the road or the pool.  Remember your performance will have dipped slightly, depends on how long you’ve been out for but that’s not a problem because it takes a lot less time getting back to where you were than if you just started as a newbie.  At this point I would definitely start at a weight at least 20% of your previous lifts.  Say you were lifting 80Kg on the bench for 8 repetitions back then, I would start on 20% of that but carry it out for higher repetitions aiming for 15 to 20.  You’ll be surprised how much coordination you may have lost and muscle mass so starting at endurance stage will help improve neural connections and muscle coordination.  The same applies for cardio work outs too!  However, you don’t need to start that low, but the lesson here is go with a weight which you can lift comfortably for higher repetitions and keep the mileage lower than normal if you’re that cardio person and take your time on the road.  Also keep a record of everything you do, the weights you lift, mileage you do etc etc and this will help you monitor your gains.  Trust me, you will be back to your fitness state in no time!

So there you have it – 4 rules which I carry out if I fall down with injuries.  Now these are quite the basic ones and I’m sure people might add more to this list but writing about more will just bore you guys and it’ll take too long and I’ve got to eat as well mind!  Jokes apart, if you follow these simple rules you will be back to your fitness levels sooner than you thought.  Remember though your nutrition always comes first, it will help you strengthen your body and mind and then the rest follows.  Again it depends on the injury, if you’ve come down with flues, viruses etc then yes it’s strictly nutrition and rest but in terms of tissue damage then you need to follow through.  You might need to see physios, chiropractors, deep tissue masseuse or any other physician but again you’ll still be following these basic rules!

I’m writing this article for people who need just that bit of help if they do fall down with an injury and I hope you all don’t fall down with anything, however we aren’t super beings who fly or have green skin or a hammer so we are prone to falling ill.  Please stay safe with all work outs and if you do get injured I hope you the best of luck and a speedy recovery!