Life of a College Athlete: How to Take Care of Injuries

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another fun, rigorous and interesting year of school. I’ve written about a lot of things on my blog, but I never got to talk about an important side of me many of my friends know about me. This side is the more physical athletic side of my life, where I get banged up, bruised, injured and have aching muscles. If you’re an athlete, or just an active person, here are some tips I use that allow me to get through the pain and recover, so I can live a fun life and continue playing sports, specifically my rugby.

Before you get active, whether it’s practice or just a good work out, you should always remember to do these things first:

  • Eat a good meal or snack that isn’t too heavy, but isn’t too light. You do this because if your meal is too heavy it will most likely come back up or get you lazy. If your meal is too light you can potentially pass out if the workout or practice is too much for your body to handle.
  • Make sure you get a good stretch in. By limbering up you can loosen up muscles and joints that are too tight.
  • You should always roll on a foam roller before and after a workout because just like stretching, it helps you loosen tight muscles and joints. However, since you have the pressure of your body weight on that specific area you are rolling, you can loosen the muscle up quicker and more effectively. Foam rolling can help you indicate/prevent future injuries and even help take away unwanted cellulite too.

When you are an athlete, or just active, you are more likely to have an injury because you are using your body more than a person that might not work out at all. Also, your risk increases even more when you don’t stretch and roll before and after. If you end up with a short term or even a long-term injury, here are some things you should do:

  • You should always get it checked out by a doctor and/or your team trainer to find out the extent of your injury.
  • Once you get your injury checked out by a doctor, you should get as much rest as possible and try not to work that injury. If you work that injury you can prolong your rest time.
  • Try to ice or add heat on the sore injury and relax it.
  • Do some strengthening exercises and stretches that your doctor and/or trainer gave you. Start off slow and build up to harder activities. 
  • Eventually when your doctor and/or trainer tell you your injury is healed enough to have weight on it. Start using weights with your strengthening exercises. However, start off slow and build up to heavier weights.

Before you know it, you’ll be back to your healthy self. Just remember to stretch (but don’t over stretch) and roll before and after your workout/practice.