How to help yourself when you’re recovering from injury

Bigstock Knee

Whether you did it in grand style traversing the slopes on your skiing holiday or pulling weeds in the garden, at some stage we all manage to hurt ourselves and need to recover. There are a few basic things we can do to help that along.

Even minor injuries take their time when we’re no longer bouncy and 20-years-old. But it’s rare that doing nothing for long periods is the best way to recuperate.

While it’s never wise to push through pain, we can often exercise around it.

For example, if the front of your knee hurts, you may be able to do exercises that work the back half of your lower body and keep your hips, bottom and hamstrings strong.

If you can’t walk easily, you might be able to use your stationary bike or get in the pool.

If you’ve hurt your right arm, perhaps you can exercise your left one. There’s long been evidence that working one limb benefits the other one via your nervous system.

Don’t be worried that you’ll end up unbalanced. Your injured parts will catch up once they’ve mended.

It could also be a good idea to increase your protein intake a little to help stave off muscle loss. That doesn’t mean adding a stack of calories you don’t need; it’s just about being mindful that you’re including regular, well-absorbed forms of protein with meals (well-absorbed means foods like eggs, meat or a good protein powder rather than, say, a lot of nuts).

At the same time watch your intake of carbs. Especially if you’re more sedentary than normal you’ll need less of those.

Finally, bear in mind that regular exercise and eating well are the best ways we have of keeping our body tissue in good condition all the time.

More resilient muscle, tendon and ligament has a better chance of withstanding injury. But if we do injure ourselves we’ll be better placed to recover well.

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