If you suffered a work or sports-related injury before lockdown, it’s highly likely you’ve been forced into doing some at-home rehabilitation. We hope it’s going well and that you’re on track to get back to full fitness. Of course, the team at Cairnhill Physiotherapy will do what we can to help thanks to our video and phone appointments, but you can also do yourself a big favour by paying close attention to what you eat while you’re recovering.
During lockdown, it’s easy to seek comfort and beat boredom by eating food that isn’t all that good for you. New Zealand seems to have become a nation of bakers while we’ve been stuck at home and we’re consuming cakes, biscuits and rich puddings like never before. Anything is fine in moderation, but overdoing it can have a negative effect. This is especially true if you’re in rehab mode, so to keep you on the road to recovery, here are a few friendly tips to follow:
— Eat enough protein. Protein is essential for the rebuilding of muscle, so it is a good idea to eat a protein-rich meal or snack after completing your at-home rehab session. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts and beans.
— Your healthcare professional might have advised you to follow a low-carb diet but if you don’t have to regulate your carbohydrate intake, that’s good news for your rehabilitation. Carbohydrates give you energy and if you don’t eat enough carbs, your body might seek the energy it needs by breaking down muscle. Muscle tone, as well as weight, is often lost during a low-carb diet for this very reason. Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, pasta, yoghurt, potatoes milk, and fruit. Whatever you choose, eat reasonably sized portions.
— Taking pain medication as part of your recovery? It can cause constipation, so be sure to consume enough fibre to keep your digestive system in good shape. 25 to 35 grams of fibre each day will do the trick; fibre-rich foods include wholegrain cereal and bread, fruit such as pears, apples and melon, vegetables including broccoli, sweetcorn and carrots, beans and pulses, and nuts and seeds.
— There’s a big connection between gut health and mental health, and feeling good about yourself will keep you motivated to stick with your rehabilitation. Gut-friendly foods include yoghurt, miso, sauerkraut, almonds, sourdough bread, bananas, garlic and ginger.
While we can’t support your rehabilitation through our usual face-to-face appointments, we can still help you out through video and phone appointments. We’re happy to give you extra information about lockdown nutrition, or just an encouraging word to keep you motivated. We’re here for you, so feel free to get in touch.