In all my years working of working in sports, nothing is worse than an injury that debilitates the athlete, throwing a wrench in what was once a carefully laid out plan. One of the most important characteristics an athlete has to have is motivation. When injury strikes it strikes the flesh and the psyche. All the early morning training sessions, strict dieting, and sacrifices feel like that have been done for nothing when you hurt yourself. Here is where many people give up. They go back to their old lifestyle as a couch potato with bad eating habits. But there is much you can do while injured to increase healing time and still move forward in your goals. Let’s look at a few things, starting with R.I.C.E.
Rest: That right folks, if you have hurt yourself you have to rest the hurt area.
Ice: Ice lowers inflammation and speeds up the healing process. For the first 48 hours you should be icing your injury 20 minutes on and 45 minutes off.
Compression: Compression is another key to quick healing time. If you can, wrap your injury in an ace bandage
Elevation: Elevation lowers inflammation of the area. If you can, elevate the injury above your heart.
Where has the injury occurred? If it’s your upper body and your lower body is injury free then it’s time to focus on legs 3 times a week. That right folks don’t let one injury stop you from completely doing exercise. The idea is to stay active. If you have blown a shoulder, you can still do abs and legs can’t you? If you’ve sprained an ankle, you can still do most upper body workouts can’t you? Why is it that as soon as we get an injury we are so willing to lay down and just give into it? It makes no sense to feel fully useless when the injury is isolated to one area of your body. If there is a way for you to work something out, do it! I understand there may be times where no activity would be best. Reminds me of when I injured my lower back, I couldn’t get out of bed much less do something active! Going from a sitting to a standing position took a full minute. I remember laughing at myself as I tried. Even with that injury I found some sort of regimen. I planned out my diet carefully, adjusting to lower levels of activity. My wife made my meals for me and fed me on a schedule since it was tough to get out of bed. I stretched 3 times a day also. As the days passed by my stretching got better and my back started to heal. Within two weeks I was back in the gym weighing the same exact weight I did when I got injured. That, my friends, is success to me!
Let’s also talk about foods that are not acidic to your body. At a time where your body needs to heal you need to stay away from inflammatory foods. Beef should be off the menu. Beef is one of the most inflammatory things we eat, and though it has its place, it is not in the diet of someone who is trying to heal. Start pulling protein from more unorthodox places like beans and veggies. Triple your veggie intake while injured. Veggies, especially those that are green and fibrous lower your bodies acidity levels and promote more prompt healing. I recommend taking 30% of your protein from veggies while healing and eating things such as celery, broccoli, spinach, etc. to keep yourself full and keep those acid levels down!
The number one rule is to find organization in your injury. Don’t let everything get out of control. If you let that happen, chances are you will be eating a Big Mac in a few days because you don’t have a healthy meal in front of you. Try your best to get into a new routine towards your goals while keeping your injury in mind.
For more information about 3J, please visit www.3Jsdiet.com.