5 WAYS TO BOUNCE BACK FASTER

Runner's World (UK) - - Body-Mind -

1 KEEP MOV­ING

You can con­tinue to run if slow­ing down al­lows you to log miles with­out pain and with proper form, says Lewis Ma­haram, a sports doc­tor in New York City. ‘Run­ning while re­cov­er­ing from mus­cle strains or tears brings blood flow to the area and helps the mus­cle heal prop­erly,’ he says. How­ever, don’t run if an in­jury changes your gait, or if you have a stress re­ac­tion or frac­ture. In those cases, keep up a rou­tine with no-im­pact crosstrain­ing, such as pool run­ning or swim­ming.

2 STAY FLEX­I­BLE

By foam-rolling and per­form­ing dy­namic stretches you pump heal­ing blood to in­jured tis­sues and im­prove range of mo­tion, says phys­io­ther­a­pist Michael Con­lon. ‘Run­ners of­ten think that they don’t have to do th­ese things be­cause they are not hit­ting the road while an in­jury heals but it’s al­most more im­por­tant to make them part of your daily rou­tine now,’ he says. Roll then stretch, be­fore and af­ter a crosstrain­ing work­out. Skip any stretches that ag­gra­vate your in­jury or feel painful.

3 EAT UP

If you’re log­ging fewer miles, scale back on di­etary in­dul­gences such as pizza, ice cream and chips to avoid gain­ing weight. But don’t crash-diet: your body burns calo­ries to heal, so you may need more than you think, says a 2015 study. Tak­ing in enough protein is es­pe­cially im­por­tant: ‘Protein is bro­ken down into amino acids, your body’s build­ing blocks, to re­pair mus­cle tis­sue,’ says Ma­haram. In­clude a healthy protein source, such as eggs, fish or beans, in ev­ery meal.

4 MAN­AGE PAIN

Some stud­ies have found that NSAIDS such as ibupro­fen in­hibit heal­ing by in­ter­fer­ing with the process that causes in­flam­ma­tion and tis­sue re­pair. Oth­ers say that oc­ca­sional use won’t hin­der mus­cle re­pair. Sports spe­cial­ist Dr Nathaniel S. Jones prefers the mid­dle ground: pain can dis­rupt sleep, and over-the-counter pills may help you get the qual­ity sleep that’s needed for the night­time heal­ing process. But limit anti-in­flam­ma­to­ries at other times – tak­ing them longterm can cause kid­ney dam­age.

5 LESSEN STRESS

If you run to blow off steam, you’ll likely need to find an­other form of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity to man­age your stress. ‘Not only does stress cause the body to re­lease hor­mones that af­fect heal­ing and re­cov­ery, but hav­ing an in­jury in it­self can cause stress,’ says Jones. Try med­i­ta­tion, yoga or gen­tle hik­ing in a quiet, scenic set­ting – a 2015 Stan­ford Univer­sity, US, study found that a 90-minute na­ture walk re­duced neg­a­tive think­ing more ef­fec­tively than a walk in an ur­ban area.

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