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Why more rest does NOT fix you

February 02, 2019

Why more rest does NOT fix you

 

R.I.C.E.

For years we have been taught that with any injury we should follow the simple list that has given us that acronym.

Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.

While a fresh ankle sprain will benefit from these steps, after 2-3 days of time from the injury, and you might be slowing your progress.

In my experience working with swimmers for the past 20 years, I have found that resting usually prevented the swimmer from returning to the sport successfully. Don’t get me wrong, if a swimmer had an acute injury to his/her shoulder, the athlete would rest for several days to allow the injured tissue to calm down. But after that, more rest is actually more of a problem.

Our bodies are always adapting to the loads that we place on them. Always adapting…the body never takes a break.

We often think about adaptation as a good response, usually to something beneficial, like exercise. We make sure that we get our daily steps in using our activity tracker, and the activity tracker “adjusts” the steps to another slightly higher goal for the next day. The activity tracker assumes that your body will adapt to be able to gradually handle more steps.

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