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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > April 2019 > How to STAY FIT with an injury

How to STAY FIT with an injury

Frustrating as a sports injury can be, it needn’t derail your fitness goals, says Hannah Ebelthite. Here’s how to keep active and recover well

THAT CONTINUOUS NIGGLE or sudden stab of pain is an alert to stop and give your body a break. But what if you were just getting into your stride? Whether you’re new to fitness, in training for a sporting event or relishing the physical and mental rewards of regular exercise, an injury that threatens your healthy habit can be as frustrating as it is painful.

While rest is a key part of recovery, it’s also important to stay fit and motivated. Sport and exercise have so many benefits beyond health and weight loss: they boost mental health, nurture communities and create social opportunities. It would be a pity to miss out on all that because you’re laid up with a pulled muscle, inflamed joint or even a broken bone.

The human body is incredibly complex, so our intention here is not to help you self-diagnose or treat an injury. Instead, recognising the common issues those coping with a physical setback face, we asked a team of top experts for help in addressing them to set you on a path towards a healthy recovery.

Is it an injury or just a niggle?

When you’re increasing your activity levels, it’s normal to feel a level of discomfort during and after a workout. ‘A certain amount of stress is what stimulates the body to adapt and get fitter and stronger,’ says sports rehabilitation therapist James Dunne (@kineticrev).

‘You can expect to feel a bit tired and achy following exercise, and you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Light exercise and stretching warm muscles (after a bath, for example) will help, and it should subside within a couple of days.’ You may experience low level pain or discomfort in joints or other parts of the body, too, as you up the intensity or frequency of a workout. ‘These are reminders to build up gently and gradually – the goal isn’t to cripple yourself!’ says James.

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About Healthy Food Guide

Want to cut your plastic consumption and get healthier, too? We’ve got 50 easy changes to help you do both. Prepare for the chocolate season with our dietitian’s tips and tweaks on enjoying Easter treats without dreading stepping on the scales. Plus expert advice and recipes from Dr Rupy Aujla on foods to beat dementia. And don’t miss our amazing vegan pavlova!