Minimizing risk for injury during exercise and speeding up recovery after injury with Jeannette Zucker-February 27, 2016

Hi, everyone! If you weren’t there this past Saturday, we had our physical therapy workshop. Jeanette Zucker, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA, WCC, CSCS, CKTP came in and talked with us about how we can minimize risk for injury. She also spoke about what we can do if we get injured, and how we may speed up our recovery time. After all, when we get injured, we are always thinking about how long we will be away from our particular physical activity.

According to Jeannette, minimizing the risk for injury during exercise is a process that begins with three basic things: hydration, sleep, and nutrition. She says that in preparation for exercise, these three basic things are required so that your body will be able to deal with the great physical demand exercise puts on the body.

Did you know that the first sign of dehydration is chapped lips? Jeannette says that staying hydrated is a very important step in the preparation for exercise, as well as during exercise. The more water you drink, the more fluid your blood will be, which allows more oxygen to reach the blood and your muscles.

Another fun fact: your muscles fatigue first when you are sleep deprived. Jeanette says that proper amounts of sleep are crucial to any type of physical activity because while sleep deprived, your muscles will not be able to perform as needed. And we all know that if we don't have the strength to push ourselves, we wont improve.

Likewise, if we don't eat correctly, we will not have a proper foundation for healthy muscle activity according to Jeannette. So we must have a healthy balanced diet that incorporates fresh foods like fruits and vegetables. She says that if we eat unhealthy, high-caloric foods, our muscles may have the energy to do the work we are asking of it, but not the integrity to do it well. Which in the end, means we will not improve without a proper diet.

So, what do we do if we get injured? Jeannette says we begin with the same things as before: stay hydrated, good sleep, and proper nutrition all facilitates a quick recovery. However, what do you need beyond that? When inflammation occurs, you must first get rid of the pain, and find the cause of the inflammation before continuing to exercise. She says that inflammation is the way the body heals itself.

When you get a muscle injury, you can either use compression to increase blood flow to aid in your recovery. Or, you can use a medium pressure massage up the injured arm or leg. Jeannette also taught us how to apply kinesio tape to our injuries. She says that applying this tape, allows increased blood flow to the injured area, which can speed up recovery. She did however, say that everything does take time, and we should not try to rush because then it may prolong our injury.

It was an interesting and informative workshop. Jeannette gave us the simple building blocks for healthy exercise. If followed, you will see improvement, not only in your athletic performance, but will result in a healthier life-style!

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