Injuring yourself sucks big time. It can spin your life out of sync, quicker than a revolving door during winter. You know exactly what lies ahead - pain, inflammation and time out of the gym to recover.
Regardless of who you are, unless you have superpowers – you will need to allow your body enough time to heal. How quickly you can resume exercise will really depend on many factors, such as your age, gender, general health, physical fitness, previous injuries and of course - the type of injury.
Get expert help
If you’ve hurt yourself, please go and get a diagnosis. If you are in pain, you’ve damaged something and it’s not easy to be objective at times like this. You need expert help, so see your GP or health professional, pronto and find out what’s wrong.
If your GP or health professional thinks you should be at home, resting and binge-watching Game of Thrones - best listen up.
Ease back into exercise slowly
Try and remember that time heals, especially when it comes to injuries and broken hearts.
Exercise can be addictive and it’s normal to miss the endorphin rush you feel afterwards. Depending on how long you are out of action, realise that it’s perfectly normal to feel frustrated or even angry at yourself. Remind yourself this is temporary. It will pass. Your body will recover.
‘Walk before you run’ – didn’t someone famous say that? Seriously though, walking is a great way to ease yourself back into physical movement. Why not grab a friend and head out for a walk together? Resist the urge to walk 20km, even if you used to run 10km for fun before breakfast.
Don’t forget the golden rule… warm up beforehand and stretch after your activity, or you may end up back on the injury roundabout!
Pain is not your friend
Listen to your body, look out for signs you may be aggravating your injury. If you feel pain, stop. If you push yourself too much, before your body is ready, there’s a darn good chance you may hurt yourself again. Just go as far as you feel comfortable with, build it up slowly, gradually and safely. The same with weight training or any of your other favourites activities, ask your expert for guidance.
Make sure you warm up before and stretch after your activity, or you may need to go back to step 1.
Eat, sleep and laugh
To aid your body in it’s recovery phase, aim to eat a healthy balanced diet, hydrate plenty and try for as much quality sleep as possible. Make sure you warm up before and stretch after your activity.
Keep yourself busy, get your mates round for a movie session or anything that makes you laugh. Laughter, like exercise, releases feel-good endorphins which can help improve your mood.
Good luck with your recovery! If you are concerned about an injury why not pop into your localfor advice?