Staying Healthy Post-Injury Recovery: What You Might Need

a physical therapist and patient

Injuries can be incredibly disruptive to staying in a healthy lifestyle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2.6 million people are treated for injuries in emergency departments yearly. Furthermore, injuries are a leading cause of death for Americans aged 1-44. Injuries can have a significant impact on one’s health and well-being.

There are several reasons why injuries can disrupt one’s healthy lifestyle. First and foremost, damages can take time to heal. This step means that you may not be able to engage in your usual physical activities while recovering. It can lead to weight gain and muscle loss, negatively affecting your health. In addition, injured individuals are often less motivated to eat healthily and exercise, which is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Finally, injuries can also lead to stress and anxiety, impacting overall health and well-being.

However, you might find that post-injuries are also challenging. You might be more fragile following the recovery, making it difficult to stay active. Here are a few things to ensure you can get back on track for post-injury recovery.

Slowly Ease into Workouts

Unfortunately, you might be itching to get back to playing the game like you usually would, especially when doctors clear you to return to physical activities. There will likely be a fitness level that you won’t be able to achieve immediately. Pushing your body too early and hard can lead to setbacks in the healing process and further injuries. Ease back into things by starting with low-impact workouts and activities such as swimming, biking, or hiking before returning to high-impact activities.

It can impact your confidence when you are not working out or playing your sport at the level you used to. Remember that it takes time to heal and that you’ll eventually return to where you were before. It might be necessary to get an experienced physical therapist to help you ease back into things and create a workout routine that won’t further injure you.

Get Adequate Rest

When your body is trying to heal, it needs high-quality sleep to recover. Unfortunately, many people have difficulty sleeping when they are in pain. Establish a regular sleep schedule to help you get the seven to eight hours of sleep you need each night. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your doctor about medications or other treatments to help you get better rest.

In addition to getting enough sleep at night, you might also need to nap during the day. It can be challenging to balance work, home life, and recovery, but napping can help improve your mood, energy levels, and focus.

Focus on Nutrition

Nutritious meals for post-injury

You might not be as hungry when recovering from an injury, making it challenging to meet your nutritional needs. It is essential to focus on eating healthy foods to help heal. Ensure you get enough protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These nutrients help your body repair tissue damage and support a healthy immune system.

In addition, injured individuals often turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol or drugs. These substances can further impede the healing process and should get avoided during recovery.

If you want a quick guide on what to eat, here are some examples of foods that can support the healing process:

  • Protein-rich foods: chicken, fish, tofu, legumes, eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables:leafy greens, berries, oranges, tomatoes
  • Whole grains: oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice
  • Healthy fats:avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds

Stay Hydrated

It is essential to drink plenty of fluids when you are injured. Water helps support all the functions in your body and aids in the healing process. Drink eight to ten glasses of water each day, but it might vary. You might need to increase your water intake if you are sweating a lot or if you have a fever.

Avoid sugary drinks such as sodas and juices, which can dehydrate you. In addition, alcoholic beverages should get limited as they can further dehydrate your body and interfere with the healing process.

Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress can have a significant impact on your health, both mentally and physically. When you’re injured and trying to recover, finding ways to manage your stress is essential. Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. These activities can help you clear your mind and focus on the present moment.

You might also want to consider talking to a therapist. Talking to an experienced and qualified mental health professional who understands what you’re going through can be incredibly helpful. A therapist can help you develop coping mechanisms to manage stress and anxiety.

Stay Healthy Now

Recovering from an injury can be a long and challenging process. However, there are things you can do to help yourself heal and avoid further damage. Get adequate rest, focus on nutrition, stay hydrated, and manage stress levels. You will eventually return to your previous activity level with time and patience.

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