Sustaining an injury, whether or not you get it from exercise, can be a thorn in your side when it comes to fitness. You might be forced to take some rest for a while as you wait to heal, which can get in the way of your fitness plans. If you’re keen to get back to working out, you might be trying to find ways you can encourage your body to heal faster. You can’t have complete control of how your body heals, but you can definitely do some things to make sure you don’t take any longer than you must to get better.
1. See a Medical Professional
If you haven’t already, seeing a doctor, nurse or physiotherapist about your injury can give you a starting point. Sometimes, there’s no need to see a medical professional, and you’ll heal up in no time. But if you have a pain that won’t go away or an injury that you think can’t be treated with some paracetamol and a bit of rest, seeing someone for diagnosis and treatment should be your first step. They can tell you what’s wrong and prescribe a course of treatment, whether it’s rest, painkillers, physiotherapy exercises, or something else. Some more serious injuries might require surgery, but this is rare.
2. Don’t Try to Rush It Too Much
You might be in a hurry to get back to your usual exercise routine. However, if you want to heal as soon as possible, the best thing to do is not to take it too quickly. If you try to push yourself and rush your recovery, you could just end up having the opposite effect. You don’t want to cause a setback because you couldn’t wait until you were properly healed before you went back to your workouts. There might be some things you can do to encourage your body to heal faster, and too much rest could be a bad thing, but you need to make sure you don’t push things too much.
3. Get Physiotherapy
Not everyone who has an injury needs to have physical therapy, but it can help in a lot of situations, from a broken bone to back pain. Your doctor might recommend that you have physiotherapy, or you could simply approach a physiotherapist directly to see what they could do for you. Physiotherapy usually involves working with a therapist who can help you improve your range of movement or reduce pain. However, you will often be given some exercises you can do at home too. Dedicating yourself to carrying them out and following the instructions you have been given will help you ensure you heal faster and better. But don’t overdo it or you could undo your hard work.
4. Consider Complementary Therapies
Some people are happy to explore alternative and complementary therapies to assist their natural healing and any medical treatments they might be receiving. Acupuncture is a popular choice for some injuries, and a visit to your nearest acupuncture clinic could give you a chance to discuss how it might help you. Whenever you’re considering an alternative therapy, just like when you think about anything your doctor prescribes, you should do some research to decide if it’s right for you. While some people believe in the power of these treatments, others would prefer more hard evidence from clinical studies before trying them out.
5. Encourage Healing with the Right Diet
What you eat while you’re healing could help you heal faster and keep your energy up. You’ll find a number of foods that people say will give you the nutrients you need to heal, and it’s a good idea to understand why they might be able to help you. Firstly, you need to ensure you’re eating enough calories so that you have the energy to heal. However, sometimes you might need to cut back on your usual calories because you’re not currently exercising as much. Some foods that might help you include those rich in vitamin C, like citrus fruits, as well as those with plenty of vitamin A, such as carrots and spinach. Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc can all encourage your body to heal too.
6. Exercise in Other Ways
You might not be able to do your usual workout, but you can still see if there are other ways you can exercise. This helps you because it keeps your body fit and healthy and it will reduce the urge to get back to your normal workout too soon. If you’ve hurt your leg, you could still do some exercises sitting down to strengthen your arms or core. Before you do any exercise while injured, you should check with your doctor or physiotherapist to see if it’s ok. They might caution you against doing any kind of exercise while you’re still injured and recommend that you wait until you’re fully healed.
7. Don’t Rest Too Much
Just like you shouldn’t push yourself too early, it’s also often a mistake to rest too much. If you want to be able to start using your whole body again, you will often need to begin before you’re fully healed. Of course, you should go gently and not start running before you can walk (both literally and metaphorically). Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist about how much you should be using and moving the injured body part. You don’t want to put too much stress on it, but if you avoid using it completely, you might not be encouraging it to heal.
8. Don’t Forget to Heal Your Mind
When you get hurt, it’s not always your body alone that is affected. It can be difficult to deal with in your head too. If you’re finding it difficult to deal with, there are also ways you encourage your mind to heal. Being unable to exercise can get you down, and you might have been affected by whatever caused your injury too. It can help to talk to someone about how you feel so you don’t feel alone. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to start exercising too soon and adjust your goals if you need to.
You might be in a hurry to heal, but don’t go too fast or it could take even longer. Ultimately, your body will heal on its own timeline, and you can only lend it a helping hand.
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