Are you recovering a little slower than you would like from your injury? If the answer is yes, there may be reasons that you haven’t thought of. Sleep, stress, and nutrition all play a large part in our body’s ability to heal. If you are struggling with one or all of those important factors, it may be showing up in ways you don’t even realize. Repeated minor injuries, nagging pain, and decreased performance in your workouts are all signs that you may be sleep deprived, stressed out, or not eating right. We will touch briefly on all those topics in this post, but be sure to check back for future blogs that go more in depth into each of these.
Do you get enough sleep? If you are like most Americans, the answer is no, probably not, or maybe (at best). Sleep is when your body recovers, both mentally and physically. Without enough sleep, your body doesn’t have the ability to recover from injury or from the previous day’s workout or stress. Go long enough with some minor sleep deprivation, and you’re asking for an injury in your workout. If you already have an injury, you can be doing all the right things but just not be getting enough sleep to allow your body to really heal and recover. Most experts recommend 7-9 hours for adults, and even more for teenagers.
Stress is a part of everyone’s life. Whether it is work, money, kids, family, time, we all have stress in our life. How much stress you have, and more importantly, how you deal with that stress, has a big impact on your health and recovery. Stress can fatigue you mentally and physically, which makes you more likely to experience an injury or pain. Once you have an injury or pain, a high-stress level makes it harder to recover. The good news is that stress doesn’t have to affect you in a negative way. Exercise, meditation, and social outlets are all great stress relievers. You just need to find what works for you.
How you feed your body determines how your body performs and heals. Without the right diet, all of the work you are putting into your rehab and workouts can only get you so far. But don’t ask us, ask the experts. Laura Buckley, a registered dietician, recently wrote a great blog post for us. Check out her blog post here to read 5 tips to improve your diet to improve your recovery from injury.