Ankle injuries are extremely common for individuals who practice a healthy and active lifestyle. Whether spending time jogging or non-supportive footwear, it can be easy to roll the ankle and suffer from a sprain or broken bone. If you want to heal or prevent ankle injuries, there are several necessary steps to follow to protect yourself and recover properly.
Most medical professionals will recommend elevating the ankle after you've suffered from an injury to reduce swelling, which can allow it to heal faster. Elevating the ankle slows the blood flow to the foot and can also alleviate some of the pain or swelling that you're experiencing. According to Sports-Health, “one of the most common protocols is the RICE method, which refers to: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.” Attempt to keep it elevated at a height that makes it equal to your heart for an average of two to three hours each day. Adding pillows or a barstool under the ankle while sitting or laying down will prove to be effective in keeping it lifted for an extended period.
Although you may not want to move your ankle after it's become injured, mobility is necessary in order to strengthen it and promote proper healing. According to Suburban Foot & Ankle you should “utilize gentle exercises that help increase the blood flow in your ankle. You can also help strengthen muscles in the calf and the ankle to help avoid ankle sprains in the future.” For severe injuries, you'll need to work with a physical therapist to avoid permanent damage that can occur. Common rehabilitation exercises for ankles include stretching exercises, range-of-motion exercises, and exercises that strengthen your muscles. The professional will also work to improve your balance and control and may assign you with activities to perform at home between sessions.
Wear the Right Shoes
The type of shoes that you wear in the office or on the field significantly influences your risk of suffering an injury. Instead of wearing high heels in the office, opt for wearing flats, which are more comfortable and are still professional. While playing sports, wear lace-up ankle supports for more protection. As Wiivv points out, different foot shapes need different types of support, so varying the way that you tie your shoes can also be helpful.
Knowing how to care for your ankles when you are injured or active can allow you to avoid an injury and even recover faster if you do suffer from a sprain or a broken bone. With the right tools and techniques used, you can maintain your mobility and continue enjoying an active lifestyle that allows you to pursue your interests.
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Cut Back on Screen Time
Getting regular sleep is important for your health and wellness. Your body repairs itself, including the brain, while you sleep. Not getting enough sleep can make you fall ill more often and cause cognitive problems. Ongoing sleep deficiency also increases your risk of chronic health issues. The blue light from electronics like smartphones and computers interferes with your body's natural sleep cycle. It can be difficult for you to fall asleep at night as a result. Try turning off all electronics 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Another option is to use blue light filters.
Ditch the Drugs
Habit-forming chemicals, including pharmaceuticals and recreational drugs, can sabotage your health and wellness. Even if it doesn't feel like it right now, you can suffer from the long-term effects later on. Don't suddenly quit an addictive drug because withdrawal can range from uncomfortable to dangerous, depending on the substance. For hard drugs like cocaine, it's best to let a professional help you detox and overcome the addiction. If you were using pharmaceuticals or marijuana, you can use a detox kit to help get it out of your system. Home detox kits, available at drugstores, health food stores and online, can contain a combination of herbs, vitamins, and minerals that supposedly help you flush drugs from your system.
Get More Fruits and Vegetables
If you're a health-conscious person who hates vegetables, don't be so quick to skip over this one. There are creative ways you can get your veggie intake. With experimentation on different ways of eating vegetables, you may find some recipes you actually like. One way of adding vegetables into your diet is sneaking a handful of leafy greens into a fruit smoothie. You usually won't be able to taste them that way. Examples of smoothies that mask the taste of vegetables are strawberry-pineapple-kale, blueberry and spinach, and banana-peach-greens.
Another way of eating vegetables is to mix them in a bowl of rice. The rice can usually make it more manageable for you to eat the veggies. Preparation methods for veggies also make a difference. Some people like cooked veggies. Others find they taste better raw. What other foods they are paired with matter too. It's all about finding what suits your personal taste.
Focus on Lean Muscle
Having lean muscle comes with many health benefits, such as a decreased chance of illness and injury, better flexibility, increased metabolism, and greater bone density. Lean muscle is muscle that isn't hidden by fat. Gaining lean muscle is challenging sometimes because muscle gains aren't always just muscle. Extra calories are stored as fat instead of muscle.
To make losing weight and gaining lean muscle easier, you can eat more carbohydrates during breakfast and after working out. If you want to lose weight without losing lean muscle, you should eat 1 g of protein for each pound of your bodyweight and decrease your daily calories. Also, do a cardio routine for 20-30 minutes each day. Make sure you keep reps and sets small in strength training too when you want to shed fat without losing muscle.
Injuries come with the territory of working out and pushing your body to the limit. Although injuries can be incredibly frustrating to athletes, it is imperative that you listen to your body, rest, and take the proper steps to ensure that you have fully healed before jumping back into your exercise routine. Here are four of the most common workout injuries and steps that you can take to speed the healing process.
Because the pain from an ankle sprain is mostly caused by inflammation, it is most important to begin treating the swelling immediately. The tried and true “RICE” method employs the use of rest, ice, compression, and elevation to treat the inflammation and get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Anti-inflammatory medicine can also be helpful in reducing pain and swelling.
Lower Back Strain
Pain in the lower back may be a sign that you have pulled a muscle surrounding the spine. After icing the area to reduce the swelling, an option would be to use a heated wrap. Moist heat wraps more effectively penetrate the skin, reaching the sore muscle quickly. Moist heat also decreases the chance of skin irritation compared to its dry heat treatment counterpart.
Formally known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints are a common problem for runners and those who use repetitive movements in their workout routine. To speed the healing, it is recommended that athletes check to make sure they are wearing proper shoes, perform regular warm up exercises, and gradually increase the intensity of the training. If the symptoms seem more serious then going to a physical therapist and receiving treatment might be the best option. The use of foam rollers can also help loosen the fascia and correct any biomechanical problems leading to the issue.
IT Band Issues
Iliotibial band syndrome is an inflammation of the band that runs the outside of the leg connecting the knee to the hip. This feeling of tightness and discomfort is most common among cyclists and runners. Cross-training in a pool is a great way to treat the injury and speed up the recovery process. Massaging the affected area also often yields good results. The best way to prevent and treat it is commonly to strengthen the hip and gluteal muscles since those tend to be fairly weak in comparison to other large muscle groups.
In addition to specific injury remedies, it is also critical to always hydrate, get plenty of rest, allow yourself ample recovery time between workout sessions, and continually monitor your body and warning signs that you are overdoing it. By following these steps, you can help your body perform at higher levels.
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Essential oils have become increasingly popular over the past few years. With a desire to use more natural remedies, people have replaced conventional health solutions with essential oils. It makes sense that this desire would trickle into the fitness community.
If you’re looking for natural ways to boost workout recovery, then here’s a look at four essential oils and the post-workout benefits they provide.
Black Pepper Essential Oil
Black pepper essential oil contains a wide array of phytochemical compounds that can be favorable to human health. The main compound in black pepper oil is piperine. Piperine has many benefits. It has great properties that can help provide relief for sore muscles. But, make sure black pepper is diluted before applying to the skin. Piperine aids in bioavailability—meaning that the body is better able to absorb its nutrients.
Piperine can be an important digestive assistant when ingested, because it assists the body as it processes food through the stomach. During workouts, digestion takes a backseat to the body’s support for skeletal muscles. Black pepper oil can be extra beneficial if an athlete has post-workout gastrointestinal distress.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is known to boost energy and brighten mood. After an especially grueling workout, adding a few drops of lemon oil to a glass of water will help with exhaustion. Lemon oil is important in building and maintaining one’s immunity. Athletes need to stay healthy, so immune-boosters can go a long way towards promoting long-term health.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil, like black pepper oil, has well-known properties. There can be some strain on muscles during a workout. When massaged, Eucalyptus oil can help lessen the tension associated with a workout. A few drops can be applied topically to the skin and rubbed in for relief.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil can be used before and after a workout. It has energy-boosting, properties. But one of the most interesting properties of peppermint oil is that its scent can be motivating, which may help to lessen the amount of effort an athlete feels they are putting into a workout. So add some peppermint oil into your workout routine and see if you notice a difference in how you feel.
Essential oils can be extremely beneficial to athletes for post-workout recovery. Rigorous exercise can wreak havoc on the human body. This is why most serious athletes use some type of supplement to help their bodies after working out. Essential oils can be a natural replacement for these supplements or a great addition to any workout program.
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Many of us struggle with the goal of losing weight. While it's easy to dream about the perfect body, adhering to fitness routines and diet plans can be intimidating. A lot of people quit just a couple weeks into their new workout regime, but there are ways you can heighten both your motivation and results.
One of the best ways to generate intensity in your workouts is with the power of song. Listening to music can help you power through hard workouts by taking your mind off the stress. You'll be able to work harder and longer which will help you lose weight more quickly.
Music makes exercise more entertaining. Going on long walks can get boring after a while, but a blast of your favorite tunes will keep you pepped up. Dancing to music is also a fun and vigorous workout that you can do in the privacy of your home. The rhythm and beat of the music will help you move and forget you're working at all.
If you've found yourself stuck in a weight-loss plateau, interval training can help snap you out of the rut and get you shedding weight again. The concept involves doing a low to moderate intensity activity and then increasing to a short burst of high-intensity exercise.
One of the most common ways to do this is with walking intervals interspersed with sections of jogging. Your heart rate will climb to its limit and then rest, pushing your body to burn calories and make progress.
Playing games is a way to turn working out into play time, which can help you stay motivated on days when putting your sneakers on and taking vitamins feels like a chore. Getting involved with team sports is one way, but if you're more into solo exercise, there are many video games and apps that encourage you to be active.
Dance games on home consoles will track your calories burned as you mimic moves on the TV screen. You can also use your phone to download a variety of apps that track your progress while providing virtual incentives to lose weight and get stronger.
The best way to make exercise more worthwhile is by simply making it fun. If you dread working out each day, you're never going to see the results you crave because you're more likely to quit early. By tapping into your inner child, staying active and losing weight will come with swiftness and grace.
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