August 4, 2015( Comments: 0 )

Sickness & Injury Recovery

This is to help anyone that is dealing with sickness or injuries or looking to return to exercise. If you have ever experienced long term illness or injury you will know how hard it is to recover from, not only physically but mentally as well!

When an extended period of inactivity takes place, the body gradually allows muscles to shut down. This is true for everyone, not only people recovering from illness or injury.

For example, people with jobs that involve a lot of sitting will eventually experience a loss of muscle tone overall and in particular to their gluteus muscles. When muscles aren’t used, the body reduces the metabolic processes necessary for maintaining muscle and allows muscle to decrease. Injuries and illness also lead to the same type of muscle loss and can eventually become muscle atrophy.

Consider the following things when reintroducing physical activity into your daily life:

1. Take it slow.

Allow your body and brain the time they need to begin communicating again. When your muscles are called to action, even in a relatively simple task, your brain and the muscles and nerves necessary to carry out that task must communicate. These channels of communication weaken over time and with disuse. Unless nerve damage has occurred, the communication signals can definitely be strengthened, but this process takes time; be patient. Your brain and body will re-learn; given time and opportunity.

2. Begin with walking.

It’s the most natural type of movement for the human body, and so easy to achieve – take a walk outside, or jump on a treadmill at the gym.

Swimming would also be a gentle form of movement on the body. Start with a few minutes, listen to your body’s response and gradually increase your time. Luckily enough being on the Northern Beaches, we have fabulous pools to choose from at Collaroy, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, plus many more!

3. Reduce your efforts by at least 20% of what you think you can do and work your way up.

Its true movement makes us happy! It’s not until we’ve lost or had a reduction in our ability to move around that we realise just how joyful movement is – This realisation makes us keen to return to exercise as soon as possible.

While the triumph of the human spirit over adversity is incredibly inspiring, being overly eager can lead to re-injury. Making steady progress and feeling great throughout the process will motivate you to keep going, especially on days when you’re not feeling as motivated as usual.

4. Consider working with a Personal Trainer that has a background in exercise rehab or corrective exercise.

They can provide you with the step-by-step program you need to get you back to the level of physical fitness you want for yourself. Whether your period of inactivity was extensive or not, or your loss of muscle tone interfered with daily living or not, it is helpful to work with someone who can assess your ability to incorporate certain things into your regime and determine your readiness to progress.

5. Remember that pain is pain.

While some fitness enthusiasts live by the motto “No pain, No gain”, when it comes to illness or injury nothing could be further from the truth. Pain is the body’s signal that you’ve gone too far or done too much!

Rest and recovery are as important to re-introducing exercise and the physical activity itself. Give your body time and listen to it. It speaks volumes about what it needs.

6. As you have throughout the rest of your recovery, continue to pay attention to nutrition and hydration.

Feed your body the best anti-inflammatory foods – sweet potato, quinoa, broccoli and kale are great choices as they keep the body at a heathy pH. Also consider some herds such as turmeric.

Avoid inflammatory foods such as fast food and alcohol.

Prolonged illness or injury can have a devastating effect on the body. Fortunately, the body’s default setting is health and wellbeing. The body will recover in time, given the right conditions. With a feeling of gratitude for all that your body has done for you and allows you to do, nurture yourself back to health by including nutrition, positive thoughts, management of stress and the joy of movement.

For more information regarding recovery from injury or illness, pop down and see us in Warriewood 

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