You might think that injury recovery is the same at any age. First, you go through a period of pain, have to keep weight off the area then you heal. It’s the same for everyone. Actually, we all know that children seem to be made of rubber: they bounce right back. Twenty-year-olds recover swiftly if a break or a sprain isn’t too bad. Forty-somethings, however, notice a distinct difference between injury recovery now and in their younger years. They don’t feel different until something is broken or bruised and then they know that age is catching up with them.
Sensible Recovery from Injury
How should someone approach injury recovery after the age of 40 or even mid-thirties onwards? He should talk to his doctor, physiotherapist, and/or alternative practitioner about the correct pace and design for building strength up again. If you are fit to begin with, the process might be rapid. But overweight, under-fit individuals could take a while longer to reduce pain and increase movement.
Fitness and Fat
What if you are fat and unfit: will recovery really take that long? Consider what you have been doing to your body over the years by denying it good food and exercise. Your bones are weaker, which is why they broke and will take time to knit back together. When you get back on your leg bone or a fractured foot, it’s going to be carrying around more weight than it should while undernourished and healing. You haven’t done yourself any favors. Poor diet leads to poor circulation and robs your cells of nutrition to commence healing. Poor diet robs your muscles of food, so you aren’t as strong as you could be. Your brain isn’t nourished either, so you are uncoordinated, clumsy, foggy-minded, and forgetful. This is all setting you up for injury or re-injury.
Your doctor might suggest that you lose weight but that is easier said than done. Like anything involving health and fitness, everything takes more time in your 40s, especially revving up a sluggish metabolism. You will need help from a nutritionist or diet coach to develop a plan involving healthier food that won’t leave you feeling starved while unable to burn calories just yet.
Eventually, movement is the next part of your approach to injury recovery. You have to mobilize the area or it will stiffen and mobility will be greatly reduced. Engage a fitness trainer, physiotherapist, or massage therapist to get the area working again and develop flexibility. When you can bear weight, start lifting kettle bells or doing push-ups: whatever your body can support at this point. You don’t have to become a bodybuilder: just take part in regular exercise under supervision and stay away from high-impact exercises like running or dancing. Opt for walking and kayaking; swimming or yoga. Take your time and only move in ways that are comfortable. Adapt where necessary. Swimming and yoga are great choices: swimming because water supports your recovering joints or bones; yoga because there are gentle adaptations. Both activities promote breathing techniques that take oxygen to the recovering body part.