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Healthy Bedtime Routines If you’re like many Americans today, you probably are a big fan of...
How Athletes Deal With Ac... Every athlete has injured themselves at one time or another. This is one of...

How Athletes Deal With Acute Injuries

ice-for-injuriesEvery athlete has injured themselves at one time or another. This is one of the most frustrating phases of athletic training. Without a good KEYWORD athletic trainer, an injury can leave you feeling left behind. Here, we will discuss some basic ways you can customize your training schedule based on your injury.

Acute vs. Chronic Injury

The first factor to determine, is whether this injury is acute or chronic. An acute injury is a sudden onset of injury, like breaking a leg, pulling a muscle, or getting a cut. Acute injuries are recognized by the presence of inflammation: redness, swelling, heat and so forth. A chronic injury is an injury that occurs over time, like a slipped disc or sciatic pain. Chronic injuries can be much less painful than acute injuries, but don’t be fooled into pushing through. Acute injuries can become chronic if the proper precautions are not taken when you are first injured.

Stages Of Acute Injury

  1. Active Recovery. In the first 72 hours after you have been injured, make sure you ice, compress and elevate the inflamed area. Between icing periods, it is essential that you continually move the injured area. Small, easy movements will discourage any stagnation to build up at the injured site, making the rest of the recovery process easier. It is essential to wait until all signs of inflammation have disappeared before you start to really exercise that injury.
  2. For the next 6 weeks, light exercise of the injured area is recommended. This is because you still have a lot of healing factors taking care of your injury, and you don’t want it to become chronic by over exertion.
  3. For the 6-12 weeks after the injury, your body enters the remodeling phase. This is a great time to start putting stress to that injured area. This way you can condition it to be stronger and better than it was before.
  4. For the 3 months following your injury, you enter the ongoing repair phase. At this time, feel free to really stress that injured area. This will allow your body to restore strength and symmetry to the injured tissue.

Healthy Bedtime Routines

If you’re like many Americans today, you probably are a big fan of scrolling through your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feed before bed. Or perhaps you watch a little television. Or maybe you nod off while you read a good book? You will be surprised to learn, that even reading a book before bed can have negative effects on your health and well-being. For optimal health, your bedtime routine should consist of a fixed, calming set of events that properly ready the body for sleep.

Staring at a book or a screen over taxes your eyes before bed. As you are preparing your body for rest, it is best to relax the senses. This includes closing the eyes. If you are feeling like you are not ready to close your eyes, follow these steps.

Close Your Eyes

With your eyes closed, and lying on your back, start to listen to your breath. There is no need to slow it or force it in any direction, just notice the air coming in and out of your nostrils. Feel the air as it passes the top of your upper lip. Once you are tuned into your breath, you can begin a bedtime inventory of your body. This routine gives your active mind something to do, while allowing the rest of your physical body to be totally relaxed.

Bring your attention to your toes. Notice each of your 10 toes. Try to feel every part of them, including the toenail. Imagine all of the tension running out of them. If it helps, squeeze the toes and then release them to feel the full effect of the relaxation. Then, move up to the arches of your feet. Let all the potential cramps release. Now, on to your ankles. Feel a soft, caressing fluid nurture the tissues and let any tension melt away.

Move up to your lower legs. Bring awareness to your calf muscles, the shin bones and the sides of the lower legs. Feel these too relax. If you like, go ahead and squeeze the muscles and then let them release. Now on to the knees. Imagine a swirling fog encircling them, and then draining away any pain, tension or discomfort. Next, we proceed to our thighs. Squeeze your hamstrings and quadriceps and then release them. Feel them heavy as they melt into the ground.

Repeat this general idea, of letting go of tension for the following body areas:

  • Genitals/buttocks
  • Lower belly, stomach, low back
  • Up through the mid belly, sides of the torso, mid back
  • Chest, heart area, upper back
  • Retreat to the fingers, hands, wrist, lower arm
  • Elbow, biceps, triceps
  • Shoulders, trapezius muscles, neck
  • Chin, jaw, tongue
  • Cheeks, temples, forehead
  • Crown of the head

If you’ve managed to stay awake this long, you will easily relax into sleep. Most likely however, you fell asleep partway through this process. Sweet dreams!