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Heal While you Train!

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Heal While you Train!

If you have a sports injury, chances are good you’ll need to take some time to rest and recover. But, if you’ve been training hard and seeing great results, you probably don’t want to stop exercising altogether. Luckily there are many strategies you can use to maintain your fitness level while recovering from injuries or pain. By modifying your exercise routine, there’s no reason you can’t find alternative ways to stay fit while recovering and resting after sports injuries. Remember, before you decide to exercise after an injury, it is always a good idea to get approval from your healthcare practitioner.

Lower Body Injuries

Ankle and foot injuries will make training for a marathon difficult, but you still have plenty of cardio options. By focusing on low-impact, non-weight bearing exercises, you’ll be able to continue to exercise and maintain your endurance. Try focusing on exercises such as swimming, stationary bike and rowing machine.

Knee injuries can quite often be very serious and debilitating injuries. They can be very frustrating injuries to deal with as they limit your ability to exercise. Most endurance training requires the use of our knees, so focusing on high intensity resistance training is a great way to get your heart-rate up without using your knees. Skip the squats for now and focus on upper-body exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, chest-press, and lat pull-down.

Upper Body Injuries

Injuries to shoulders and elbows are quite common for strength athletes. This is the perfect time to drop the heavy weight and work on some cardio! If your lower body is healthy, you can get a great workout by raising your heart rate and burning some extra calories by focusing on endurance exercises. Jogging, walking, climbing stairs, elliptical training or taking a spin class are all great ways to work your lower body as well as increase your cardio levels. It is also possible to focus on strengthening the muscles in your legs by doing body-weight squats, walking lunges, wall sit, and leg press.

Lower Body Injuries

Among athletes of all stripes, back injuries are very common and can disrupt your ability to perform not only athletically, but also in day-to-day life. After consulting your healthcare practitioner to diagnose your exact injury and receive their approval to exercise, you can focus on numerous exercises to maintain your fitness when you recover. Lower back injuries are sometimes the result of a weak core, so take this time to focus on strengthening this area of your body and reap the benefits of a strong and functional mid-section. Bridging and core stabilization exercises can be very effective, low impact methods to strengthen your core. For an entire week’s worth of different plank exercises, check out the recent article featured in Vega News.

Rest and Recover!

While you can maintain your fitness levels by working your healthy muscle groups, it’s important not to overlook you don’t neglect the importance of rest to recover from your sports injury. If you feel any pain during any exercise, you should abandon the movement and focus on something you can do pain-free.

One very important aspect of rest and recovery is good nutrition. Inflammation will usually accompany any injury in our body, and consuming a diet with an abundance of plant-based foods and nutrients is a powerful strategy to help lower the generation of inflammation1. Try incorporating Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator into your workout routine to aid in reducing inflammation.

1Giugliano, D., Ceriello, A., & Esposito, K. (2006). The Effects of Diet on Inflammation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 48(4)

Andrew Raines, RHN

Andrew Raines works at Vega as the Education Manager. He is an advocate for clean, plant based sports nutrition, and is a former competitive kickboxer and soccer player turned ultra-marathon runner. As a coach and trainer, Andrew thrives on seeing people boost their performance with plant-based power. He’s a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Plant-Based Culinary Professional and has a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation.
Andrew Raines, RHN