You rest, you move less, your capacity shrinks more, you do your sport, you get hurt. Repeat.
Most of us have, at some point in our lives, experienced an injury that has persisted longer than expected or have had one injury cause a string of subsequent ailments. These nagging injuries can lead to a downward spiral if you don’t take the right steps to address them. A Stanford University study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that 21% of the injuries observed in elite college athletes caused the athlete to miss at least one day of sport. If this is the outcome for college-age athletes, the result cannot be expected to be better as we age. Safely recovering from an injury while maintaining fitness becomes the challenge we all face at some point.
While injuries can occur from overtraining, lack of conditioning, and improper form or technique, or trauma, it may also be that your body is changing with age and the stress that was once easily absorbed is now manifesting alert signals in the form of pain. As Matt Skenazy describes in his article for Outside Magazine, “You rest, you move less, your capacity shrinks more, you do your sport, you get hurt. Repeat”. The result can often be a negative impact to your performance, training, as well as your daily mental and emotional fitness. Comparing the human body to a high-performance race car, Matt highlights the importance of “tinkering” in his quest to “Bulletproof his body against injury” in order to find the right maintenance plan to make sure you are running at the peak performance no matter your age or fitness level.
The right steps to addressing an injury may include seeing a physician or physical therapist, or simply, rest, which can often be the most difficult challenge for an active athlete. There is no such thing as a “magic fix” when it comes to nagging injuries. Rather, it is important to seek medical advice and follow a program tailored to your specific needs. If you are actively training your body, it’s important that you do age-appropriate exercises. Even in the latter years of your life, your body can still work very well if you treat it correctly.
What does your recovery plan look like?