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Injuries suck. As anyone who has participated in sports or a regular workout regimen will  attest, we can train smart and do all the right things but sooner or later we’re going to face some sort of setback. It may be minor; some sort of tweak, a strain or a bruise or it may be something more severe. A sprain or a broken bone, torn cartilage, a concussion or ligament and tendon damage.

Thankfully the vast majority of injuries that occur aren’t too serious – at first. Our body is surprisingly adept at recognizing when something isn’t quite right, sensing problems and throwing up indicators at the first signs of trouble.

This is when we need to LISTEN. If we can set aside our ego, we can deal with the injury, overcome it and get back to training as soon as possible.

It’s when we ignore these signals, when we “push through” the pain that we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. It is our need for immediate gratification in spite of these signs, the completion of a workout as prescribed or setting a PR, that causes us the most harm. Ignoring these signs is invariably followed by worsening of symptoms or outright catastrophe. Health and fitness is a marathon and must be a long-term pursuit that we protect at all times. It’s crucial that we be willing to slow things down when there are bumps in the road. After-all, what good is a PR or a great workout time if it means you just added weeks or months to your recovery or worse yet, can’t train at all because you just wrecked yourself?  It’s silly, it’s irresponsible and it isn’t worth it.

Listen to your body. If you have a knee that feels a little weird, a shoulder that aches or if something isn’t “too bad” but doesn’t feel quite right, this is your body WARNING you that there is a problem that needs to be addressed or a movement that needs to be avoided. If you listen to what your body is telling you, it can be fixed before it’s too late. Take the time needed to recover properly so that you can crush another 1000 workouts just like it.

Here are 5 tips to recovering as fast as possible
  1. Avoid ALL painful movements. You want to keep moving but its important that you find alternatives that allow you to move pain free.
  2. See a knowledgable soft tissue specialist as soon as possible to zero-in on the issue, restore healthy movement/range of motion and promote healing. Active Release Technique, physiotherapy and massage can all play a vital role in fast tracking your recovery.
  3. Supercharge your diet in the fight against inflammation. Rid your body of junk food, foods high in trans fats and anything that contains processed sugars. Look to consume foods high in Omega 3’s. Optionally, supplement with high DHA fish oil, curcumin and other plant based anti-inflammatory compounds to promote healing.
  4. Get lots of rest. Your body does its best work when you’re sleeping. Try to get 7-9 hours of restful sleep every night.
  5. Stay positive. Take this as an opportunity to strengthen other weaknesses. You will be stronger for it.