By Mireille Massé, M.Sc., Canfitpro Certified Trainer
Life places challenges on our path. While some are very interesting, others are less so − like injuries. Let’s look at how to manage them efficiently.
Everybody knows what follows but nobody wants to apply it: rest is a part of training. This is ever so true when dealing with injury management because to repair itself, the human body needs time. How much? That depends on a number of factors: age, gender and fitness level, among others. It should also be understood that depending on the seriousness of the injury and how it developed (acute or chronic), the human body can take anywhere from several days to several months to rebuild itself.
Often overlooked, food and nutrition are the building blocks of tissue reconstruction. Optimal rehabilitation includes a healthy diet of fresh products, and large quantities of fruit and vegetables; sufficient carbohydrates and good fats are also necessary.
3- Your Therapy Team
Suffering from pain is one thing, yet understanding your injury is crucial to establishing a proper treatment plan. Seeking advice from one or several healthcare professionnals (physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor, acupuncturist, kinesiologist, etc.) is very important; in turn, they will lead you to a precise diagnosis. Knowing what movements to avoid, the right level of training to adopt and what strengthening exercises you should do to speed up healing are your best foothold to successfully resuming your sport.
4- Yoga and Positive Thinking
We now know yoga is great for managing stress and emotions. So beyond actual exercise, adopting a positive attitude toward your situation is important, as is finding an activity (crosstraining) to help you maintain your assets…. And keep your mental health in top shape!
Practising yoga is great for working on breathing and flexibility, while strengthening muscles and keeping your body active too. Together with your therapist and yoga instructor, make sure you do the exercises recommended for your type of injury to avoid aggravating it.
Because It Doesn’t Only Happen To Other People…
This summer, rugged hill training sessions and considerable fatigue led to tendinitis and hip bursitis by early August. I had no summer races lined up − only le Défi Everest-St-Pierre (www.defievereststpierre.com) in Rivière-du-Loup on September 6 – so I maintained my intensive yoga training and followed my own advice:
1- I stopped running for several weeks. When I tried to resume and the pain kicked in, I stopped immediately. Instead, in addition to yoga I swam and walked. Two weeks before the event, I tried some hill walking – so easy to do here, in Charlesbourg!
2- I cut down on sugar and made good dietary choices, eating over 10 portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
3- I sought treatment from therapists who know me, and helped me during my rehab. I also took advantage of after-event physiotherapy services to reduce post-race consequences.
4- On race day, as a rule I do lower-impact, less intense yoga exercises, targeting tight muscles with balls and a foam roller.
In the end, I participated in the event not to beat my own personal record, but for the fun of it! I employed a trail running trick, pushing my thighs with my hands to propulse myself, and slow-jogging my way down hills. I didn’t complete many uphill runs but I respected my body’s limits, and that allowed me to begin running again that very same week.
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