HOW CAN RECOVERY HELP PREVENT INJURIES?

A good recovery will allow your body and your muscles to regenerate after training and lead to better performance, but that's not all! There's another excellent reason why you should take the necessary time to recover: to prevent injuries! Dr Pascal Edouard tells us why recovery is such an important part of training, and what role it plays in preventing injuries.

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1. INJURY PREVENTION: AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF TRAINING

Although exercise is excellent for your health, it also puts certain parts of your body at the risk of injury: your bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Taking good care of an injury is important for getting back on track quickly and under the right conditions, but it will also help you avoid aggravating the injury or suffering a new one; the top risk factor for getting an injury is already having had one in the past. You know what they say: "Prevention is better than cure"! Injury prevention is crucial for athletes to keep in mind, and should be an integral part of training.

As there are many different risk factors for injuries, there are also different aspects to consider when it comes to injury prevention, among which:

- physical condition

- mastering the correct sporting techniques

- sports equipment and practice guidelines

- lifestyle (e.g.: diet and sleep)

- the way you and medical professionals approach and consider pain and injuries 

Even if it's not currently possible to avoid injuries completely, the better you take into account all these different aspects, the more you will minimise the risk of getting injured. Among all these aspects, recovery after training also plays an important role in injury prevention.  

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2. THE ROLE OF RECOVERY IN INJURY PREVENTION

Firstly, recovery is important when it comes to tissues in your body (bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles). Exercise increases both the synthesis and degradation of collagen, which is a component in body tissues. Within 24 to 36 hours after training, there is more degradation than synthesis; conversely, after 36 to 72 hours, there is more synthesis than degradation. 

In other words, exercise will cause a degradation of tissues on the day itself, but will improve your physical condition after this. These time frames will vary according to different people, your abilities and your training experience. 

Therefore, to avoid injury, it's a good idea to take around a day and a half of rest between training sessions, or to vary the parts of the body you are working out and the intensity of the exercise in order to minimise degradation and maximise the positive adaptation of body tissue. These strategies will help you both progress in your training and minimise your risk of injury.

As for your body in general, exercise will create a short-term fatigue and a reduction in your physical abilities. However, after a certain time, your physical abilities will increase and surpass the fatigue. Therefore, if you make sure you take time to rest between training sessions, you will avoid the accumulation of fatigue in your body; fatigue being a risk factor of injury, as it causes, for example, a lack of vigilance, a reduction in sensory motor control and a decrease in the ability to recover well. 

 

Therefore, prioritising recovery after training is a way to help prevent injuries. Rest is crucial when it comes to injury prevention in sport. It's important to listen to your body if you want to avoid injuries!

Doctor Pascal Edouard

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