Nobody likes to be injured but, unfortunately, it happens to most of us at some time. Overuse injuries are the most common and can sneak up on athletes then suddenly “go”. Often injuries can mean a few weeks when you are unable to follow your usual training routine but that does not mean that you can’t do anything to stay fit. You just have to train smarter.
The first thing to remember is that if it hurts, there is a reason and you should stop doing that exercise. If the injury is acute (sudden and severe) for example a twisted ankle or muscle strain then PRICE (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) protocol should be followed for the first 48 hours or until swelling goes down.
Seek medical advice if you need diagnosis of the injury. The quicker you get the professionals to help you the better. Once you know what you are dealing with, you can formulate a recovery plan.
Keep a positive mind set. You may be disappointed and frustrated about your injury but you will recover quicker if you train smart and remain upbeat.
Get your nutrition right. You will probably need to change your diet to fuel your new activities and boost the body’s healing mechanisms.
See what you can and can’t do. All activities should be pain free so as not to cause more damage.
Do what you can. Work around the injury. If you have a leg injury, work arms and core. Do your cardiovascular work outs sitting on a rowing machine or bike. Run in a deep pool. If you have hurt your shoulder then use the bike or treadmill or just go for a walk. There will always be something that you can manage. Yoga, Pilates, Stretching and Massage are all valuable tools at this stage.
Take your time to rest and recover. Don’t be impatient to get back to your old regime. Something in it injured you, so review and improve your training routine before going back to it.