injury

5 Tips For Getting Back On The Track After a Muscle Injury

Things are going well. Your running times are improving all the time, you can feel your body adapting to the demands of the sport, and you’re confident that all in all, you’re on the right track (hey) for running success. And then you feel a twitch in your leg and, just like that, you’re laid up and unable to run. There are two options in this scenario: you can lie down and bemoan your luck, or you can do all you can to get back up and running as soon as possible. Let’s take the second option.

Keeping Things Cool

If you’ve injured yourself now, then you’re fortunate that it’s summer, because things are about to get pretty cool. When you have a strained muscle, ice will be your friend. How you do is up to you: you can get an icepack and target the sore spot exclusively, or you can be brave and have an ice bath. Settling into a bath of icy cold water might not sound like much fun, but it has bags of benefits before your injured muscle, including boosting your all round recovery, boost circulation, and even give your happiness levels a lift too.

To The Core

You might have a massage to help you unwind, but to recover from a muscle injury? It’s true. A deep tissue massage will relax your muscles, which will soothe the pain of the injured area, and also get those deep-lying toxins and tight muscle areas moving, too. Beyond speeding up your recovery, there’s another obvious advantage to getting this type of massage, too: you’ll feel extra relaxed, which might be important when you’re not able to release those tensions through long running sessions.

Stretch it Out

Stretching is an underrated tool for runners. For starters, if you make stretching part of your everyday routine then you’ll be greatly reducing your chances of getting injured; indeed, it’s because of inadequate warm-ups that cause most injuries to happen in the first place. When you are injured, stretching will help strengthen your muscles in a low-impact way. When you get back to running, your muscle will be stronger and less like to be re-injured if you’re stretching every day!

To the Pool

Everyone knows how important momentum and being in the “workout groove” is when you’re trying to build endurance and prepare for a long race. If you’re lying on the couch every day, then by the time you get back on the track you might have lost the edge you’ve gained during your training. As such, head to the water when you can’t run. It’ll cause no troubles for your legs, but will help you stay active and build up your endurance. And who knows: you might fall in love with swimming, too.

Rest

OK, last tip: when you’re injured, it’s extra important that your patient and get plenty of rest. If you neglect to do either of these things, then you’ll run the risk of having a relapse as soon as you’re back running. Not what you need!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Avoiding Nasty Workout Injuries

Exercising is a great way to boost your overall fitness, but it isn’t always positive. There is a dark side of working out, and it is known as suffering an injury. Simply put, exercising places the body under a lot of physical strain, and the stresses can cause things to snap. When they do, it’s painful and very damaging to your health. Thankfully, they are avoidable as long as you follow a few simple rules. Even better, you can find a selection of them underneath.

Stretch Sufficiently

There is a difference between stretching and holding the stretch to give your muscles ample time to warm up. If you’re doing it as an afterthought, there is a good chance of an injury occurring. For starters, there needs to be enough strain to get the blood pumping around the body. The increased blood flow should heighten the muscles’ temperatures, and that will boost flexibility. Hopefully, this will be enough to prevent any unnecessary strain while you exercise. As a rule, there isn’t a one-size fit all policy regarding time, but 20-30 seconds is usually suitable. Also, don’t forget to target as many muscles as possible. The more you leave out, the higher the chance of a tear or sprain.

Cool Down

Almost everyone will warm up before working out, yet they won’t cool down. Now, copying the professionals is enough to put anyone off a cool down for life. The last thing you want is to jump in an ice bath after a ten-mile slog. However, their recovery process is a lot more advanced, and you don’t need to follow suit. In truth, a five to ten-minute walk which includes a couple of stretches should suffice. All you’re looking to do is replace the oxygen debt and lactic acid in your body. If they are present the next time you exercise, they could lead to a lot of pain.

Take PT Classes

‘PT’ stands for physical therapy and it might be the difference between substantial damage and staying injury free. You should know that PT isn’t only for people who need to recover from an injury. In fact, lots of people use it to avoid one in the first place as a weekly session acts as a safety net. The best physical therapist establishments all take on pre and post care patients, so there is no need to wait until it’s too late. The people that get ahead of it tend to avoid the nasty injuries which can sideline you for weeks and months.

Don’t Overload

In your quest to get fit, there is the temptation to take on too much work. Because having a rest day doesn’t feel productive, you might want to exercise every day. Although it’s commendable, it isn’t smart. Injuries happen because of wear and tear over time. By working out more, you’re increasing the tension that you put on the body.

The best option is to train hard over the course of a week, but take a rest day in between sessions. After all, the body needs to take a break too.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Run Away From These Common Running Injuries

Even though running is a great way to improve your fitness and stay fit, it also runs the risk of certain injuries. Most of the time, it is beginner runners who end up injuring themselves as they are inexperienced and don’t take things like warming up as seriously as they should do. This problem isn’t just one for beginners, though – some experts believe that around 79% of runners end up taking some time off from their training schedules.

So, if you don’t want to end up with an injured leg for a month or so, it’s important that you are careful with your running. To make sure you look after yourself when you are out pounding the streets, here is everything you need to know in order to prevent any running injuries.

Always Warm Up And Cool Down

No matter what kind of sport you do, it is always necessary to warm up and cool down. Whether you are going to shoot some hoops in a basketball match or are going to the gym to do a fitness class, you always need to get your muscles ready for action. And this is also the case with running. Ideally, your warm-up session should involve some light cardio and stretches, but it shouldn’t be too strenuous. After all, you don’t want to use up all of your energy before you have even started your main exercise! After you have been for your run, you then need to cool down. This is necessary as it can help your heart rate and breathing come back to their regular rates. Not only that, though, but it will also prevent any blood from pooling in your muscles. If you fail to warm up and cool down, then you are increasing the chance of straining yourself and pulling a muscle. Not cooling down enough will also help save you from any cramp and painful muscles after your run.

Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard

When many beginners take up running, they often find it difficult to figure out what their ideal pace is. As a result, they can often run way too fast, which can be too much for their muscles to take. It is very important to start off slowly so that you know your muscles can cope with the impact and pressure. Once you get used to a pace and start to find it too slow, you can slowly increase your speed. It is also crucial to increase your weekly mileage very slowly as well. Before you do increase your mileage and speed, you need to correctly prepare the body for all the extra stress. This means you need to work on your cardio to ensure that you are up for all the extra aerobic activity. But you also need to concentrate on your muscles as well. Otherwise, you could end up pulling a muscle or developing shin splints. One general rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by 10%. Then, once you are comfortable with this increase, you can continue to increase it by a further 10%. If you struggle to work out how much 10% is, you might find it useful to download a running app. There are many that have training plans for beginners and aim to get them running 10 kilometers within a set period of time.

Get The Right Gear

Did you know that your running shoes could be the cause of your running injuries? There are certain ones that are considered the best running shoes for women, and it is worth looking through these to find a pair. But you also need to make sure that the pair you choose are suitable for the way you run. When we run, we each have a slightly different gait which causes us to each land on our feet differently. It’s important that your pair of running shoes cushions and support the part of your foot that takes the most stress from hitting the floor. For example, if you tend to land on your heel, you should get some shoes that have plenty of support in the heel and ankle of the shoe. Whereas you will need a shoe that is well supported in the front half if you tend to land toe-first. Running in the wrong type of shoe will increase your chance of suffering from shin splints. These develop after repeated stress on the shins, and cause shooting pain up the legs. They often result in runners taking a month off running to let their shins heal.

Improve Your Flexibility

You might think that just concentrating on running will help your performance when you are out on the track. Makes sense, right? But, in actual fact, you should also do some exercising that will help to improve and maintain your flexibility. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure you stretch every day. However, you will need to do some physical activity before you do your stretching as stretching cold muscles could cause them to strain. Simply jogging on the spot for 20 seconds will be enough to warm the muscles up for a stretch. Lots of runners also find that taking regular Yoga and Pilates classes are also very useful for improving flexibility. Keeping flexible won’t just reduce your risk of injuries, but it will also help to improve your overall performance as well.

Work On Your Strength

As well as flexibility, you should also work on your body’s strength. That’s because an improved strength will help your muscles to work for longer and harder without going into a state of fatigue. And that means they will be better protected against common injuries such as strains and tears. One of the main mistakes some runners make when they are working on their strength is to just improve the strength in their legs. Even if these are the main muscles you use while running, you should still aim to improve your core and arm muscle strength as well. If you don’t already do any strength training, you might like to try weightlifting and plyometrics.

Get Your Gait Analyzed

I’ve already touched on the fact that we all have different gaits when we run. This affects how we land on our feet while running, and, unfortunately, a poor gait can sometimes lead to injuries. Thankfully, there is something you can do about this! As well as making sure that you have the correct footwear, as already mentioned, you should also see about getting a formal gait analysis. During this analysis, a running expert will watch you run on a treadmill and see how your body moves. From this, they will be able to advise you on the best type of shoes you should wear. They will also be able to provide you with some orthotic inserts for your shoes if they think that they can help you during your runs. They might also be able to provide you with some advice that can help you improve your posture while you run. Changing your posture can significantly change the balance of weight in your body while you run, which can help you land better on your feet.

Stay Well Hydrated During Training

Another reason why runners end up damaging their body is that they don’t drink enough water before and during their runs. This is especially important on hot days as the body can easily succumb to heat exhaustion when it is put under physical stress. For the best results, you need to start hydrating your body at least two hours before you go out to run. Experts then agree that you should aim to take in about 8 ounces of water during the run. Your body will also need plenty of fluids once you have finished exercising so that it can rehydrate. For this most reason, most professionals aim to drink a pint of water within an hour of completing their workout. This is something that amateur runners should aim to do as well.

Remember To Rest

Resting is just as important as the exercising itself! In fact, if you don’t factor in enough rest days into the week, you could end up pushing your body beyond its limits and might end up suffering from injuries. For beginner runners, you should have at least three rest days each week. Once your body starts to develop and gets used to your training sessions, you can then start to take just two rest days a week. These rest days are crucial as it gives your body time to recover from all of the strenuous exercise that it has been though. This is also the time when your muscles get stronger, so if you don’t rest up enough, you might find that there is very little improvement in your overall running performance.

Running injuries are extremely frustrating and, in some extreme cases, they can end up to be quite serious indeed. But if you remember all of this great advice while you are out running, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Rehabilitating After An Injury

Fitness is and should be a major part of everyone’s life. After all, we only have one body, so we need to do our best to keep it healthy.

Sadly, bodies let us down even when we are trying to help. What does this mean? It means that the likelihood of an injury is higher when you exercise. In a cruel twist of fate, looking after your health can jeopardize it in the short and sometimes long-term. There is nothing much you can do to prevent an injury apart from accepting it as a fact.
However, there is a lot you can do during the recovery process to make sure it never happens again. If you want to learn more, just take a glance at the following tips. They could be the difference between a long stint on the sidelines and a swift return to form.

Rest

As soon as you suffer an injury, your brain jumps forward in time. For some reason, instead of concentrating on the present, you want to think about the future. ‘When will I be fit again?’ ‘How long before I can start training again?’ These are questions that everyone asks themselves, but they are more of a hindrance than a help. The reason is simple: they push you back into action before you’re ready. No one likes to hear it, but rest is the first step on the road back to recovery. Yes, sitting down doing nothing is boring, and it makes you stir crazy. Still, it also makes you healthier because it gives your body time to recuperate after such a massive shock. Your muscles might twitch, yet you should ignore it for your sake.

Start Slow

When you do start training again, it’s imperative that you take it one step at a time. Again, there is a rush to skip a couple of stages in your attempt to regain full fitness. However, the more you try, the higher the chances of another injury. Whatever your method of choice, it’s important, to begin with baby steps and work your way up to walking. If you have a muscle injury that stops you from lifting weights, don’t try and bench your maximum asap. The strain will put too much pressure on the muscle, and it will snap, either literally or metaphorically. The same goes for cardio or any exercise.

Build Back Strength

There is one thing you need to know about an injury: it allows the muscles to atrophy. Simply put, atrophy is a fancy word for weaken, and the muscles do it because they are sitting idle. Of course, you have to give them enough rest time to let them recover, so atrophy is normal. But, you also need to build back your strength before you do any strenuous activity. Okay, there is no reason to train your body within an inch of where it was previously. Still, you need to be functioning at seventy to seventy-five percent of your maximum. Otherwise, you won’t have the strength of endurance to compete.

Change Your Diet

Your diet is what gives you the fuel to recover. Why? It’s because your body turns the food into energy, and circulates it to the muscles. As a result, you will struggle to regain your fitness if you don’t eat the right foods and take in the proper nutrients. For the most part, lots of people eat balanced diets with a range of nutrients. For example, white meat with potatoes and vegetables pretty much hits all the major food groups. But, consuming the same things often isn’t enough when you have an injury as the body needs more fuel. That’s why people turn to supplements to help hit their targets. A substance like creatine is a full of protein, a nutrient that aids muscle growth. However, other, less popular supplements also have a big role to play. Cod liver oil and vitamin tablets don’t sound as sexy, but they are just as important. Oh, and don’t forget about water. Without enough water, your body can’t function properly, so you need to drink a lot.

Consider Surgery

The about Dr. David Halpern page might not seem relevant, but it can be in certain situations. For obvious reason, you want your injury to recover naturally. And, you don’t want to have to recover from an injury and surgery at the same time. The problem is that the body is good, but it isn’t always infallible. Sometimes, it just won’t be what it needs to do for a variety of reasons. If you feel like your body is failing you, a surgeon like Mr. Halpern might be on the cards. Of course, it’s a big decision that needs a lot of consideration beforehand, but it should be a consideration.

Don’t Forget Mental Fitness

A physical injury will always make you think about your physical health. After all, if your body can recover, then you will be back in business. What most people don’t realize is that recovery is also about your mental health. Simply put, you will never fully recover until your mind catches up with your body. Sure, it’s possible to go to the gym or compete, but you will only go through the motions. To get back to your best, you need to get over the trauma of the injury. The shock might be small, but it’s enough to put you off for life in some circumstances. So, training your mind to get past the mental blocks is a huge part of your rehabilitation. Techniques like meditation and reflection are age old tricks which should help. Also, staying positive is another useful aid.

Try And Understand

All of the above is bound to be confusing, as it should if you’re a layman. However, you should try and follow it as best you can for the sake of your health. If you comprehend the steps, you are more likely to avoid the mistakes. After all, knowledge is power.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Protecting Your Body From The Perils Of Training

Exercise is undoubtedly hugely beneficial for your body, but it often presents risks. If you’re starting a workout regime or you train on a regular basis, it’s always important to keep an eye on your body and to do everything possible to protect it from harm. Exercising can turn into you a confident, strong, and fit person, but it can also make you vulnerable to certain illnesses and injuries. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself from the perils of training.

Avoiding Injury

When you play sport, there’s often an element of risk involved. Although it’s not always possible to avoid injury, there are often steps you can take to minimize the risk and keep yourself safe.

Warming up and Cooling Down

Your body needs to be ready for action before you start putting it through its paces. If you jump straight into a session, you could end up with injuries like pulled and torn muscles, and ligament damage. Before you begin any session, include a 5 or 10-minute warm-up. Get your heart rate going, and stretch. After you’ve finished, take time to bring your heart rate down gradually, and stretch out your muscles. This will help to prevent faintness and dizziness, and keep aching muscles at bay the day after.

Perfecting Your Technique

Technique is really important to achieve the best results, but it’s also essential for your health and safety. If you’re doing something wrong, there’s almost always a greater risk of injury. If you’re lifting weights, for example, you need to make sure that your spine is in the right position, and that you’re using the power in your legs to lift. If you don’t lift correctly, this is going to increase pressure on your back, and it could lead to very serious complications.

Equipment Safety and Hygiene

When you’re training, no matter what kind of activity you choose, it’s essential to use the right equipment and adopt good hygiene habits to prevent illness and injury. If you’re boxing, wear a helmet and wrist guards. If you’re swimming, wear a protective sock if you’re worried about verrucas and you haven’t been to a doctor to ask about treatment to remove warts. If you’re playing cricket, make sure you have the right pads on before you practice batting. If you’re at the gym, wipe down the machines before and after you use them. If you’re climbing, check the condition of the harness before you venture up the wall.

Keeping Your Body Fuelled and Hydrated

Many people exercise to lose weight, and they assume that they need to eat less to achieve this goal. When you’re training, your body is burning calories, so you actually need to increase your intake. If you don’t fuel your body, it won’t be able to perform properly. Try and eat at least an hour before you work out, and keep your body hydrated at all times. When you exercise, your body loses fluid through sweat.

When you hear people talking about exercise, you often come across them extolling the virtues of a workout regime. There are so many benefits to be enjoyed, but there are also risks. Hopefully, this guide will help you get the most out of your sessions without putting your health on the line.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Illness and Injury Doesn’t Stick to a Schedule, but That Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Plan for Them

Illness and injury can be waiting around the corner at any given time; so it is impossible to foresee them and factor them into your future. However, you can plan for their arrival in some different ways and to many different extents. Whether this is making physical plans beforehand, or just knowing what to in the case of an emergency; it is important to prepare. Not doing so, could end up being very costly in many ways; whether that be to do with finances or to do with physical and mental wellbeing.

First of all, however morbid it may seem, you should always seek to put as much money aside for the eventuality of being diagnosed with a serious illness. Creating and building an emergency fund is essential when it comes financial planning; even when an illness is not now or not ever involved. Even if you’re never diagnosed with such an illness; it doesn’t mean the money you have put aside is wasted as it is still always there ‘for a rainy day’ or as something you can pass on to your family as part of a will.

However, preparing for illness and the toll it takes on your finances; doesn’t just mean safeguarding against it physically before it happens. You should also have an idea of how you plan on dealing with it while you are in the midst of fighting the illness. Doing so will mean you can rest assured that you can focus your energies on recovering; rather than worrying about your outgoings.

There are many ways to make ends meet while still getting the best treatment. One of which is that to eradicate the costs of traveling back and forth to appointments; you should seek to get as much of your travel expenses reimbursed by bringing your medical exemption certificate to the hospital. Illnesses such as cancer work on an uncontrollable and unpredictable schedule; which is why it is important to have some money put aside in case of the eventuality of diagnosis, and to know exactly what you can do if ever diagnosed to make sure you have no other stresses to worry about; such as those that include your finances. For more information on how you can deal with financial implications of an illness such as cancer, make sure to click here.

Another illness that works on an uncontrollable schedule is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); if you feel that the lack of vibrant colours, the lack of warmth and the lack of sun in the winter months makes you feel down, tired and unable to function properly, especially on the more ‘wintery’ days, then you could be suffering from this very real disorder. The impact it has on those who suffer from it can leave them feeling physically unable to get out of bed in the morning, let alone get on with their day-to-day activities. The worst part about it is that it is, of course, entirely dependent on the weather outside. This means that there is little to no control over it as it is completely under the control of nature if you don’t take action.

You can plan to prevent them by trying to move frequently, exercising at your desk (if you sit at one to complete work throughout the day), seeking mood-boosting omega-3 fats and attempting light therapy, where a particular kind of lamp called a light box is provided in order to stimulate and mimic exposure to sunlight. The best and most important way to plan your fight against SAD is to admit that it is a real problem openly and to seek as much support with it as possible; doing so will mean that on the next cold winter’s day you won’t feel completely bedridden and that you won’t have to wait until the sun is out again to make the most of your day.

Injuries happen much quicker than illnesses, and therefore faster attempts to seek to care for them should be sought. However, injuries can occur at any time and change the course of your day in a split second. Plus once affected it can be hard to think of anything else but the pain you are feeling or the hysteria of it having happened; let alone where you have to go to seek help. Because of this, you should always have a healthcare provider; or an idea of where to find one so that if you ever fall victim to an injury; you know where to head to.

This could be a local hospital or even a walk-in service that offers urgent care; information, where to find a clinic like this, can be found at OurUrgentCare.com. This service is advisable for those who wish to avoid the high costs and long waits found in hospital emergency waiting rooms. However, it is important not to be too hasty when it comes to seeking assistance with an injury; as the shock at the moment of impact may make you feel a lot worse than you do. You should try to access your pain, if possible; and if it’s not possible, due to pain, then you most certainly should seek help.

What’re Your Thoughts?

So, the moral of the story is that there isn’t a set layout for the story of life; like those found in books, plays or movies. It’s not simply following the story and overcoming a tremendous task or opponent in the middle of the plot; then preceding to live happily ever after in the end. A disaster can strike at any time in life, no matter what stage you are at; which is why it is important to prepare and have plans in motion for when they do. What this also means, is that even though you overcome one illness or injury; it doesn’t mean that another isn’t just waiting for you around the corner. You should never stop preparing for them; even when they don’t let you know of their schedule, or take any notice of yours.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

What is Percussive Massage?

If you’re a fitness enthusiast of any kind, then you’re probably no stranger to the aches and pains that we occasionally experience. It’s a pain – literally – and most of the time it’s because a muscle or tendon is too tight. This is especially common in anyone who does any running – whether alone or as a part of their sport. Sometimes we don’t stretch enough, and completely neglect our foam roller, and then question why we ache. Which is why I wanted to talk about percussive massage, but first what is percussive massage?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Naipo. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Take It Easy and Stop Working Yourself to the Bone

Gym goers and fitness experts will tell you about their long sessions at the gym. They’re pumping weights, running miles and sweating like pigs as they burn fat, build muscles and make their bodies ache. This isn’t for everyone and, despite what many people think, it’s not needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Depending on what type of fitness goals you have, you might even be able to regain your sanity and focus on low-impact workouts, such as these suggestions at greatist.com, and still have the energy to do the things you love. Here’s a few tips on how to stop working yourself to the bone, but still see results.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Workout Not Working? Know What To Do When Exercise Doesn’t Go According To Plan

Exercise can be risky. Whether you’ve just started out on your fitness regime, or are an exercise aficionado, there are dangers! Though working out is good for your body, it also involves equipment that can cause damage. From muscle strain to sprains, you need to be vigilant of what you’re doing to your body. If you do sustain an injury, it’s important you know what to do. These tips should give you some idea of the best way to act when your workout isn’t working!

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

In A World Of Pain: How To Deal With Exercise Related Injuries

It has always seemed somewhat unfair that you can get injured by working out. OK, yes it is the reality of the situation. But you are actually trying to do something positive for your health when you end up causing another problem. Happily, most of us are able to recover from injuries return to our fitness activities. But to do this, we need to make sure that we take the time to rest and get the right treatment. Read on for some more information on how to deal with exercise related injuries.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

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