The positives of being Injured

Ok, ok having an injury is not a great experience, but like everything in life, there ilys an opportunity to learn from them and take-out some positives. We caught up with recently injured personal trainer Lucy Young to talk to her about the up-side of injury:



If you are an athlete, novice athlete, or someone who lives a relatively active lifestyle, there is nothing much more frustrating than being forced to rest due to injury. In fact, after some time off, you can begin to wonder what it used to feel like to push your body without any consequence or pain. However, rest assured that even a setback as infuriating as an injury can have an upside. Yes, you read that correctly, and here’s why.



You Learn Not to Take Your Body for Granted


Despite the irritating reality that injuries force us to ease off or modify our training, they actually serve as honest reminders that there are consequences if we continuously stress and work our bodies into the ground.



Injuries can even force us to reassess our lifestyle on a broader scale to determine whether or not we are taking on too many projects, thereby causing our bodies to become fatigued or stressed, and consequently more susceptible to injury.



While many might understand ‘taking your body for granted’ to imply that you shouldn’t over-train, it’s important to distinguish that this also applies for the novice athlete. This is especially true in the age of the ‘weekend warriors’ aka highly enthusiastic but untrained individuals who sign up for adventure obstacle courses (ex. the Spartan Race) or endurance running events (half or full marathons) and take home new injuries alongside their finishers medal.


All in all, remember that your body is not a machine to be worked into the ground, and you should not ‘surprise’ it with severe bouts of exercise without the appropriate training.  Getting injured is the most simple and efficient way for your body to let you know it’s unhappy with how it has been treated, and it needs for you to give it some serious R&R.




You Learn Very Helpful Injury-Prevention Techniques

Wondering what to do with all this free time now you cannot smash a fast run, or hit the gym for an intense session? Being injured enables you to revisit how you became hurt in the first place, and learn ways to avoid it happening again. Of course, this logic applies predominantly to overuse injuries more than acute injuries, which are the result of a single traumatic event.
Stretching is a basic injury-prevention method that is so often taken for granted because people don’t spend the extra 5-10 minutes post-training to let their muscles and tendons spread out. The many benefits of stretching include the promotion of blood flow and circulation within the body, balance, and the prevention of muscle tightness which often leads to muscle strain or tear.



Foam rolling is another injury-prevention practice that is surprisingly underutilized considering it’s the most effective self-massage! It involves applying pressure to areas of built up tension or trigger points, and can help improve flexibility while promoting relaxation because you won’t feel as stiff!



You Learn the Importance of a Smart Diet


Arguably one of the most common realizations when injury forces a temporarily more sedentary phase is that we cannot eat the same quantity of food because we can’t burn it off through physical activity.
While some might not feel as hungry once they stop being as mobile, some injured people feel it takes more effort to control their portions and food choices as they recover. Despite injuries often causing us to feel stressed and emotional, it is important to resist the temptation to over-eat, and steer clear of ‘junk’ food during this period. Not only will the consumption of sugary, high-refined carbohydrates make you feel worse, but it will also make your mood yo-yo and cause you to gain weight. If that’s not enough already, this ‘junk diet’ promotes inflammation in the body, adding to that already caused by the injury and this combination could delay recovery.


Although the silver lining associated with injury might not be glaringly obvious, it’s important to concentrate on a few of these positive outputs in order to stay on the path to a fast recovery. Remember that in most cases being injured is a temporary state, and a setback leaves room for a greater comeback!




Lucy Young is a personal trainer and runner from Melbourne. Follow more from Lucy on instagram at @lucyyoungfitness  Lucy’s favourite shoe is the Kinvara

If you liked this article you may also like Mindful Eating to help product your best performance



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