Injuries happen to the best of us. Whether it's a broken bone or a muscle injury, the physical pain of the injury isn't the only thing that athletes and people who enjoy working out struggle with. Being injured can also cause stress since they are unable to release the energy that their body is used to using.

For me, working out is part of my daily ritual. It's not something I dread, in fact it's something I look forward to. As a runner, I'm used to releasing a certain amount of energy every day and when I get a setback from an injury, I find myself stressed and anxious. 

A couple weeks ago I sprained my ankle and hurt my knee on a hike, meaning I couldn't run for two weeks."TWO WEEKS!!," I thought to myself.

Those two weeks were incredibly hard for me. Instead of waking up and hitting the trails, I had to spend most of my time keeping off my legs so that my injuries could heal. I found myself frustrated that I had to sit around most of the day when I would much rather be with my team or friends running or walking around town. I felt lazy and wanted to rush back into running, which I knew from past experience would just make it worse.

Here are some ways that I coped with having an injury and worked towards healing faster.

Be patient 

coffee, tea
Kristine Mahan

First, the most important thing I've learned as a runner is that you have to be patient and let your injuries heal. Last year, when I hurt my hamstring, I was super impatient and began running again before it had finished healing and ended up having to take another three weeks off because I aggravated it again. 

If you become anxious about how slow your injury is healing, just remember that by letting it heal completely you will be able to train or workout at your full ability once it's better.

Don't cut back on caloric intake


Another thing that I struggled with when I was injured was not working out. I wanted to cut back a lot on how much I was eating because in my mind I wasn't burning as many calories as I would when I am training. 

In reality, when your body is injured, it needs almost as much calories as when you workout because it is spending energy trying to heal, which can increase your metabolic rate.

Try to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet

sauce, tomato, chili, pepper, vegetable, vegetarian, curry, spices, tofu
Julia Gilman

Just as you need to focus on carbs when you're running and protein when you're trying to build muscles, when you are recovering from an injury you should focus on anti-inflammatory foods

When I am injured, I focus on eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, fish, and I add turmeric to a lot of my meals. Turmeric is a spice with anti-inflammatory properties which has a very subtle flavor, making it really easy to sneak into many foods.

Also, focus on foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as avocado, fish (again), and nuts.

Ice/Heat as much as possible

When you initially get injured, you want to ice your injury a couple times a day for around 15 minutes for the first couple days. After those first days, you can switch to heat, which will increase heat flow to your injury, thus speeding up the healing process. 

Find an exerise that works the part of your body that isn't injured  

isabel leeds, workout
Isabel Leeds

The best way to not get stressed when you are unable to do your typical workouts because of an injury is to find an alternative form of exercise that doesn't affect your injury.

This will allow for you to spend the time you would be doing your normal workout routine the same as you would usually spend it, working out. It will keep you in the same daily routine and although you may not be working out as hard, you will still be doing something. It will also get your heart rate up a little which may help you with all that built up energy you are used to releasing. 

My first couple days of injury, I usually stretched whatever part of my body wasn't injured. Then, after a couple days of that, for example, when I hurt my knee, I was able to do parts of a core workout that I usually do before my runs. This was incredibly helpful to my healing process because I was at least working out while I couldn't run.

Another good way to spend your typical workout time is doing yoga. Yoga is super useful in decreasing stress, helping with anxiety, and reducing inflammation. Here are 15 yoga poses you should be doing every day.


grass, Yoga, pose, flexible, Tattoo, Blonde, outdoors, outside
Julia Gilman

Although injuries are super frustrating, they may provide your body the break it needs. The most important thing is to remember that injuries are just temporary and to stay patient with the healing process.