Avoiding injury is ideal, but second best is having a plan to recover faster. The Gymsanity brand is about helping aging athletes optimize healing after injury.
In my experience, efficient injury recovery requires a kind of project manager. There is no one-stop shop in the medical field that creates the conditions for optimal repair:
- Your doctor doesn't know how to do physical therapy
- Your physical therapist doesn't know about supplements
- Neither is an expert in nutrition
- No one has thought at all about the impact of your light environment on rest and recovery
An athlete struggling to recover from a gym mishap needs a holistic program to expedite healing.
What are the parts of the Optimize Injury Healing flagship?
1) An intake interview
Tell me about:
- Your sleep routine
- Your light environment
- Your diet (are you a vegan?)
- Your exercise routine
What pills are you taking, what structural issues do you have, how much stress is in your life, what do you do for a living? (Specifically, do you work in an industry that would expose you to heavy metal toxicity, which could slow healing - do you work with firearms, are you a welder/smelter?)
I also want to acknowledge and help with the psychological component of gym downtime and injury recovery.
- How can you manage the stress that you normally burn up at the gym?
- What kind of exercise can you still do? (Can you learn the jump rope while your shoulder heals? Can you boost your Zone 2 conditioning on the stationary bike while you recover from your ankle injury?)
- Is there a different aspect of health that you can pursue while you heal physically, like intermittent fasting? Should you try a carnivore cleanse?
2) Adoption of the healing lifestyle
There is a lifestyle for optimizing healing:
- Enhancing sleep, and the steps to get there, which include supplementation with a magnesium glycinate combo, apps to control your screen and light environment at night, and tips to stabilize your circadian rhythm.
- Absorbing adequate sunlight to optimize cell growth and health, and achieve better blood flow through elevated levels of nitric oxide. You can use the sauna to stimulate circulation depending upon where you live and time of year.
- Going to the beach. I'm a skeptic of grounding, but the concept is sound: Connecting with nature is the best possible environment to facilitate healing. For example, at the beach, with your feet on the sand, you get: sun + grounding + splashing around in the ocean – a natural bath of trace minerals for your body to absorb. Above all, GO OUTSIDE.
3) Precise nutrition and supplementation
- Avoid eating inflammatory foods that require your body to divert resources to processing toxins, thereby slowing down your healing process.
- Intermittently fast to reduce inflammation and allow your body to concentrate on healing rather than digestion.
- Harness supplementation concepts. I prefer whole foods to supplements because the body is designed to assimilate nutrients from whole foods. If you can find them, and stomach them, start with the protein sources that have been available to our ancestors the longest and which are the most nutrient dense. The best possible option is oysters, followed by the liver and organs of a ruminant animal, then working your way down until you come across something you can tolerate and find in your grocery store. Or just eat eggs.
- For muscle recovery, leverage BCAAs to boost leucine intake. Leucine stimulates muscle protein accretion. Eat yogurt with whey (not Greek yogurt which is strained); and kefir.
- For tendon and ligament healing, consume collagen. Try chicken bone broth for Type II collagen (joint health) instead of the Type III found in beef bone broth (gut health).
- Take key supplements to ensure your body has adequate nutrients to heal. Magnesium helps activate certain enzymes that are important for the repair of injured tissues; vitamin C has an essential role in connective tissue healing/collagen synthesis. Consider spraying magnesium oil on the injury site itself for your body to absorb through the skin.
4) Exercise and movement advice
We’ll review what your physical therapist has prescribed. Or, we can create a program that expedites healing and works around your injury so you can still maintain fitness.
Disclaimer: The Optimize Healing Program is not medical advice. I am sharing my experience of what has worked for me and what I have seen be successful for others. My health, fitness, and nutritional information is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The use of any information is done solely at your own risk.
4 once-per-week video call sessions, which includes the 45-minute intro consult call plus three 30-minute check-ins. I will provide a recap after each call with links and recommendations for expediting your healing process.