#just be healthy….
It is easy for us to get tunnel vision and focus in on the injury but sometimes we need to look more broadly at our health and allow the body to take care of what is ailing us.
Our body has an incredible ability to identify and heal injured or sensitized structures. Physiotherapy often focus on stimulating the tissue to optimizes its recovery. This is a great thing to do but if we truly trust in the body’s ability to heal one of the best things we can do is to be as healthy as possible. The condition of our body and mind can improve our ability to heal. A poorly conditioned body and a depressed mood are both correlated with longer recovery. What does being healthy look like? Lets dive into a few simple ideas.
- Sleep well. Sleep is our body’s best recovery tool. If you haven’t prioritized sleep in the past and injury is a great opportunity to build new sleeping habits. Getting a better sleep often requires giving yourself more time. I often suggest a stop doing list. What are things you do each day or week that suck up valuable time. The second strategy to help with sleep is review basic sleep hygiene. Start with Matthew Walkers list.
- ITs ok to rest – some injuries require a good dose of nothing. Don’t lets this stretch on for weeks. But sometimes its ok to kick up your feet, read a book, and feel productive about it!
- Stay active. After an initial rest we are probably doing other body parts more harm than good and we definitely aren’t helping our mental game. By staying active we keep non-injured tissue healthy and we take advantage of all the benefits of exercise – mood, sleep, and positive mental health.
- Eat well. Food fuels our body. Why not provide your tissue with all the nutrients it needs.
- Keep your mental health in check. Our psychological well being impacts healing directly and in-directly. When our stress is lower – we sleep better, feel better, and keep valuable resources on-site at the injury. In-directly we are better able to cope with the pain associated with the injury and have a better outlook on the limitations imposed by an injury. There are lots of strategies to being mentally well including – sleep, agency of your injury and recovery, mindfulness, exercise, reading, seeing friends, and talking to a therapist (counselling or phsyio).
Each area influences the other and often when we improve in one area we improve in another. Injuries are a part of life, the sooner you embrace them and start improving your health the sooner you will back at full steam!