by Crystal Hammer
Weightlifters can be stubborn, honestly that is what makes most of us keep going. When people tell us “no” or that we cannot do something, it only motivates us to push harder. But when it comes to injuries, we need to put these hard-headed attitudes aside and heal. Injuries can take many forms. Injuries occur in the gym, on the job, or in totally obscure ways. They happen, and they happen to everyone at some point and to varying degrees of severity.
Recovery can mean loosing gains, putting on “flab”, and just generally being bored or frustrated from not being able to do what we were otherwise physically able to do. Regardless, it must be done. Here are some do’s and don’ts that may help.
1. Don’t ignore the pain. Pushing thru the pain is a bad idea probably 99.9% of the time (there are few exceptions I won’t go into here). This can be hard, ESPECIALLY if the pain is mild and not bad enough to physically stop you from doing something. Use caution!
2. Do ask yourself, if I had the flu and were puking my guts out on the bathroom floor, would I still consider doing this activity? Strategies for healing from injury or illness can be very similar. If injured and not sure what level of activity is okay, this is often how I gauge things. A heavy squat day? No way if I’m nauseous. An easy walk with the dogs? Yes, probably something I could handle. Of course, this various with the type and severity of an injury and find what analogy works for you.
3. Do watch out for depression. Dealing with recovery can cause depression on top of everything else. Mental illness is real and not a sign of weakness. Especially in long term recoveries or chronic illness. Once again, being stubborn is only going to make things worse. You cannot stubborn yourself out of depression – get help!
4. Don’t beat yourself up when you start working back into things and you cannot lift what you did before injury. Get a new baseline and work your way up from that. If recovery only lasted a few weeks, strength will be regained quickly. If it was longer-term, it may take much longer.
5. Don’t let that clean diet go! Recovery time can be lazy time (I watch so many movies when hurt!) and its easy to fall into junk food habits. Feed your body what it needs to repair and watch out for those empty calories and bad snacky foods.
6. Do get adequate and proper sleep. Rest is important for healing! Try to keep your sleep habits consistent and be careful if pain is keeping you awake – talk to your doctor if pain killers and/or sleep aids are warranted here.
7. Do listen to your doctor or health care professional.