Injuries and illnesses can get in the way when we want to lead an active life. So what can we do to ensure we heal quicker?
1. Sleep is vital for repair and to ensure our bodies are functioning well. Eight hours a night is recommended and you’re likely to need a bit extra if your immune system is compromised.
2. Good nutrition is very important for wound healing, recovery from injury and to help the immune system function well. So much so that I will go into more detail in a future blog but here is a quick summary of what you need to heal: Protein, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, the B vitamins, Omega 3, Magnesium and Calcium. Dietary sources are the best kind as supplements are not as effective. Also make sure you are well hydrated. 2 to 3 litres of water a day is the recommended amount for most people.
3. Keeping moving will help with most inuuries. In the very early stages of an injury rest is important but once you can move pain free, it will help you recover quicker if you keep moving. If you have hurt your knee or ankle go for non weight bearing activities like cycling and swimming.
If you have a minor illness and feel okay to keep moving do. However if you have fever, aches, extreme fatigue or a stomach bug then do not exercise. If you train through such symptoms you can cause serious complications and even death so it’s really not worth it.
4. Reduce stress. Some stress is unavoidable in life but if you are having serious problems then formulate a plan to reduce it, whether it is writing down a list of problems and potential solutions or seeking professional help from a Doctor, Citizen’s Advice or a charitable organisation. Look at finding an activity to help you manage stress such as meditation, exercise, massage or crafting.
5. Alcohol, caffiene and nicotine can all compromise healing, stop us absorbing nutrients and harm our health. Try to reduce or remove them from your life.