Staying in shape requires a balance of appropriate nutrition as well as fitness without either being more important than the other. Most of us easily understand that balanced nutrition involves eating a variety of food groups. However, in fitness, many of us will focus on one specific goal or activity. Often times, this can lead to an overuse injury. Similarly, many of the workout activities that most of us do our non-physiologic and at some point the body will start to break down.
Maintaining a well balanced diet is a major factor in preventing an injury. Our diet is what fuels our body for the physical activities and therefore it should be considered equally as important as your workout. However, our diets vary from person to person, based on our body types, the workouts we engage in, and many other factors. It is not uncommon to consult a dietician who can help in calculating the macro nutrients and other dietary guidelines best suited for you.
Managing an injury
When we manage athletes with issues like this—which includes endurance athletes—there is an understanding that a period of shutting activities down that are causing pain may ultimately be necessary while still keeping long-term goals in sight. The ways in which to try to make issues get better faster typically involves some element of an anti-inflammatory such as Advil or Aleve, icing, and rest. While most problems will resolve by adhering to a combination of rest and an anti-inflammatory, if not successful, other treatments such as injections, physical therapy, and potentially surgery may be recommended.
The key to preventing injuries is to implement cross training into your workout routine and listen to your body. Many injuries occur as athletes continue to push themselves harder and harder as their training intensifies. As athletes, we must be willing to modify our workouts while still remaining active if necessary. While most problems will resolve by taking this approach, other treatments such as injections, physical therapy, and even surgery may be the right treatment option to help you return to your sport or activity.
If pain persists, it is a good idea to see an orthopedic specialist who can help set a course of treatment customized to help you get back to your optimal level. Ignoring pain or an injury can result in a more significant injury that may leave you sidelined for a longer period of time.