Top Tips For Your Mental Health During An Injury

No matter how big or small an injury is, there is the unknown fear of how it will impact your future activity levels. One of the areas that is poorly focused on in your rehab is the psychological side of your injury. Looking after your mental health and staying positive throughout your injury recovery is a necessity. Without this, there is always the doubt that the injury can come back or limit your return to activity. In this post we are going to outline several tips to help you stay positive during your recovery.

Reframe, Refocus, Rise

With an injury, whether during the season or off-season can be detrimental mentally. There is often a sense of feeling lost or no purpose. The secret though, your identity extends beyond your physical capabilities. Our activity doesn’t define who we are as a person. The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology reported that Athletes who view their injury as temporary setback, not that of a permanent loss, had a higher rate of successful recovery from injury.

Mental health

So, are you able to reframe your injury into a positive? I can hear you now, how can an injury be a positive. Well the simple answer is this, it allows us a chance to re-evaluate what we are doing. More so, you are able to refocus back on aspects you enjoy in your life that often get put to the back of the list when actively training.

Remember this, an injured you is just a temporary version of you! It is not set in stone!

Celebrating the Small Victories For Your Mental Health

Recovering from an injury isn’t always a quick and straightforward process. There can often be setbacks during your rehabilitation process. Remembering that your recovery is a marathon not a spring is key. But marathons are much longer than a sprint, so how can we stay motivated during this?

Firstly, celebrate the small victories. Whether that is a slight increase in your range of motion, reduced swelling or you are now able to walk with one crutch. Celebrating these can motivate you to keep going with your rehab, and maintain your happiness whilst boosting your mental health!

A 2022 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that focusing on small goals and celebrating their achievement significantly improved adherence to rehabilitation programs and boosted motivation.

Set yourself SMART Goals, reward yourself when you achieve them and lastly, keep going the end is in sight!

Celebrate the small wins

Finding your Voice – The Key for Mental Health

Injuries can be a daunting part of sport and exercise. Being injured tends to lead to isolation from the rest of the team or having to do a specific program that means you can’t train with your gym partners. Finding ways to avoid the isolation doesn’t fall solely on you though! Coaches and wider staff members should be making sure you still feel involved where possible. This can be done in several ways. Firstly, when you are able to complete specific drills, you should be involved with the rest of the team. Secondly, help out with coaching and other general tasks the coaching staff do. Finally, be involved with social events! These can really help you to feel included!

Alternatively, talk to loved ones, friends, team-mates. Let them know your struggles, celebrate your victories with them and celebrate theirs.

Embrace the Power of Pause

We all can get too invested in our sports and exercise that we ignore what our bodies are telling us. Far too often we see people that have put off their injury as small and something that can be pushed through. Which has led to longer time off. Having a more significant injury can give us that moment of pause, allow us to listen to our bodies and reconnect with our bodies. During this period of pause and reflection, why not try yoga or meditation?


Remember injuries are not the end of the road, there are merely a detour to your destination. How we come back from the injury shows far more about our character, resilience and strength. Embrace your injury journey, celebrate your wins, reach out to others and take a moment to re-evaluate your own personal goals. Come back to your activity stronger physically and mentally!


How Sleep Affects Our Day To Day Life

We are always told that sleep is a super important part of life. However, sleep affects so much more than just if we are feeling tired or not. This plays an important role in recovery, hormone regulation and much much more. In this blog post we are going to share some sleep tips, how a lack of sleep affects you and how sleep affects your recovery and hormones.

How Does Sleep Affect Hormone Regulation and Secretion?

Sleep has a significant impact on hormone regulation and secretion in the human body. During sleep, several hormones are produced, including:

  1. Melatonin: A hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and helps you feel sleepy at night.
  2. Growth hormone: A hormone important for growth and repair, which is released during deep sleep.
  3. Cortisol: A hormone that regulates metabolism, stress response, and immune function, which follows a daily pattern with highest levels in the morning and lowest levels at night.

On the other hand, sleep deprivation can disrupt the normal patterns of hormone production and secretion, leading to hormonal imbalances. For example:

  1. Increased cortisol levels: Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can contribute to weight gain, decreased immune function, and higher stress levels.
  2. Decreased insulin sensitivity: Lack of sleep can reduce insulin sensitivity, leading to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Altered levels of hunger hormones: Sleep deprivation can alter levels of hormones that regulate hunger and fullness, such as leptin and ghrelin, leading to increased appetite and weight gain.

Therefore, it’s important to have regular and adequate sleep to maintain hormonal balance and overall health.

Sleep for Recovery

How Does Poor Sleep Affect You?

Poor sleep can have several negative effects on your physical and mental health, including:

  1. Fatigue: Lack of sleep can make you feel tired and sluggish during the day, affecting your energy levels, mood, and ability to concentrate.
  2. Impaired cognitive function: Poor sleep can affect your memory, attention, and ability to think clearly, making it difficult to perform daily tasks.
  3. Increased stress: Lack of sleep can increase stress levels and make it harder to cope with life’s challenges.
  4. Weakened immune system: Poor sleep can weaken the immune system, making it easier to catch colds, flu, and other infections.
  5. Mood changes: Lack of sleep can affect your mood, leading to feelings of irritability, depression, and anxiety.
  6. Increased risk of chronic diseases: Poor sleep has been linked to an increased risk of several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
  7. Weight gain: Sleep deprivation can disrupt hormone levels, leading to increased appetite and weight gain.

Therefore, it’s important to have regular, adequate sleep to maintain physical and mental well-being.

Sofa Sleeping

Does My Sleep Impact My Recovery?

Sleep plays a crucial role in recovery from exercise. Adequate and quality sleep can help the body recover and repair after physical activity. Here’s how sleep affects recovery from exercise:

  1. Muscle repair and growth: During sleep, growth hormone is released, which helps to repair damaged muscle tissue and support muscle growth.
  2. Energy restoration: Sleep helps restore energy levels, allowing you to be more physically active during the day.
  3. Improved immune function: Sleep can strengthen the immune system, reducing the risk of illness and infection after exercise.
  4. Reduced inflammation: Sleep has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce muscle soreness and other symptoms of overuse.
  5. Improved athletic performance: Regular and adequate sleep can improve athletic performance by enhancing reaction time, coordination, and overall endurance.

In contrast, poor sleep can impair recovery from exercise, making it harder to reach your fitness goals. It can also increase the risk of injury and slow down the healing process after a workout. Therefore, it’s important to prioritise sleep and aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support recovery from exercise.

Dog Sleeping

Top Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep

Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:

  1. Establish a consistent sleep routine: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends, to regulate your circadian rhythm.
  2. Create a sleep-conducive environment: Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  3. Limit exposure to screens: The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with sleep, so avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.
  4. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help improve sleep quality and promote a deeper sleep.
  5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep, so it’s best to avoid them in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  6. Relax before bed: Engage in relaxing activities such as reading, stretching, or taking a warm bath to help wind down before bed.
  7. Reduce fluid intake before bedtime: Avoid drinking too much fluid before bedtime to minimize trips to the bathroom during the night.
  8. Avoid napping during the day: Napping during the day can interfere with nighttime sleep, so it’s best to limit daytime naps to 20-30 minutes.

By following these tips, you can improve your sleep quality and get the restful, rejuvenating sleep your body needs to function at its best.


How Much Sleep Do I Need?

The amount of sleep a person needs can vary depending on age, lifestyle, and overall health. However, the National Sleep Foundation recommends the following guidelines:

  1. Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours of sleep per day
  2. Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours of sleep per day
  3. Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours of sleep per day
  4. Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours of sleep per day
  5. School-aged children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours of sleep per day
  6. Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours of sleep per day
  7. Adults (18-64 years): 7-9 hours of sleep per day
  8. Older adults (65 years and older): 7-8 hours of sleep per day

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and the amount of sleep you need may be more or less depending on your individual needs. The best way to determine how much sleep you need is to pay attention to how you feel after a full night’s sleep and make adjustments as needed. If you are feeling rested, alert, and focused during the day, then you are likely getting enough sleep.

Get in contact with us to see how we can help with your recovery or book in now!


Working In An Office Causing Your Pain?

Whether you are working in an office or working from home this blog post is for you. We will be able to give you tips to help reduce the aches and pains caused from your office setup. Even if you have been working in an office for 20+ years or just starting out. Find out the common aches and pains that other like you suffer from and how to fix them!

What are the common aches and pains in office workers?

Here at Cardy Sports Clinic, we see a steady stream of workers who are either still in the office or working from home. No matter what your current work environment, there seems to be a theme with what you all are complaining of. Whether the company you work for has provided you with the best equipment or not; there is a definite pattern with the two working environments.

  • Neck Pain
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Tension Headaches
  • Leg Pain
office pains
Working in an office causing your pains?

What is Office Syndrome?

This is an ache and pain type syndrome labelled as office syndrome, however, it can affect anyone that sits and uses a laptop or any other device. Prolonged period of sitting at a desk or on a device will increase the risk of suffering from office syndrome. Typically, offices and working environments in general, carry a lot of stress. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to swat away stress like an annoying fly, instead it accumulates and builds up the tension in the muscles. Scroll down to learn how we can help reduce the aches and pains.

Could my posture cause my pain?

This is a heavily argued point in the healthcare industry. There are some areas of the healthcare industry that still stick to the “Posture is linked to Pain”. However, there isn’t a one shoe fits all in this world, so why do we assume that every person should have the same posture. The true cause of your pain is unlikely to be related to your posture, instead, putting yourself into an unnatural position or overstretching for a lengthened period of time is more likely the cause.

An example of this will be related to screen usage. Whether you are in the office or at home, you more than likely have multiple screens to use at any one time. Commonly, you spend the majority of your time on one screen (usually on your left) whilst operating the mouse with your right hand. If this is you, does the right side of your neck/shoulder ache or give you pain?

Office Syndrome

Does my office setup affect my aches and pains?

More than likely, yes. Where you have your main screen positioned, screen height, chair height and the length of time you stay seated, will all affect your aches and pains. Many companies have a department where they can give you advice on your setup. So get in contact with a head of department for example and ask the question. Did you know a lot of businesses have a health allowance for you? This means that you can come for a Deep Tissue Massage or Sports Massage with us, and you claim it back from your company.

How to reduce the pain from working in an office?

The best thing to do is to get yourself moving. Take regular breaks throughout the day to get up out of your chair and have a little stretch. Shake your arms about, touch your toes, move the hips or just stroll about your house. All of this will help! Sometimes the aches and pains are a little more difficult to shake off. In this case we recommend getting a Sports or Deep Tissue Massage. We have helped so many office workers already so what are you waiting for!

Office Workers Aches and Pains


Top Tips To Recover From Exercise Quickly

After exercise we are often faced with muscle soreness and pain; otherwise known as DOMS. Check out my last blog post to find out more about delayed onset of muscle soreness here. In this post I will give you some tips on how you can help aid your recovery with simple processes and routines. Improving these aspects will help you recover quicker!

How to reduce recovery time following exercise?

There are several areas that you can focus on to make sure that you can make your recovery as optimal as possible. However, remember that even when you optimise your recovery you can still suffer with muscle pain. The biggest thing here is to give your body the best chance to repair the damaged muscles and allow for the adaptations. So the areas you will want to concentrate on are:

  • Hydration
  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Alternative Treatment
  • Active Recovery
hydration for recovery

How to hydrate after exercise?

We all know that we should be drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water a day. However, if we are exercising at a high intensity we are going to sweat and lose fluid. Therefore, we need to consume more fluid to allow ourselves a chance to rehydrate. You are probably sat there thinking, well obviously; but did you know that being in a state of dehydration will slow down your muscle recovery? The process of muscle synthesis is slowed down until the body is rehydrated, therefore prolonging your time for recovery!

What should I eat after exercise?

Following exercise you should look to consume a food with a high carbohydrate content. Depending on the type of exercise you have just done, your glycogen stores are likely to be depleted. Having a carbohydrate snack within 30 minutes of exercise finishing can really help to improve recovery times. To improve recovery times even more, have a protein snack alongside this too.

diet to recover

Does sleep help me to recover?

Absolutely! Getting enough sleep is key in the recovery from injury or exercise. When you sleep, your body releases more hormones such as, human growth hormone. When this is released it helps with the rebuilding and repair phase in the muscles. So getting your 8-hours is key. Therefore, try to switch off from your phones/laptops at least 30 minutes before bed so you can just fall asleep quickly and effortlessly!

How will massage help me to recover?

The key aspect when having a massage for recovery is that it isn’t too deep. The best massage to have to help you to recover is one that finds the balance between a deep-tissue massage and a spa style relaxing massage. Massage will help to increase blood flow to an area, relax the muscles and remove any waste products sat within the muscles. Therefore, why not try it?

massage to recover

What is an active recovery?

An active recovery is the performance of low intensity activity following a strenuous bout of exercise. This will help to keep the blood flowing through the muscles and tissues. Therefore, the muscles will have a continued supply of nutrients and vitamins to help them recover quicker! Aim to keep your heart rate between 30-60% of you maximum heart rate for the best results. There are so many different ways in which an active recovery can take place. The list below will mention a few types of active recovery.

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Brisk Walk

What Is DOMS And Why Do I Suffer From It?

In this short blog post we will talk a bit about DOMS and the causes behind it. We will also discuss how to reduce the pain that severe DOMS can cause and also outline simple steps so that you can put in place your own treatment for DOMS.

What is DOMS?

DOMS is short for delayed onset of muscle soreness. This represents the pain felt in the muscles after physical activity. This muscle soreness is associated with a build up of lactic acid and fatigue of the muscles. It is nothing to worry about though!

What Causes DOMS?

DOMS is usually caused by exercise you are not used to. For example, if you have been away from the gym for a long time and try to shift as much weight as possible. You will be in pain! The DOMS is brought on by the fatigue and build of lactic acid in the muscles. As well as this, eccentric exercise related movements have been thought to be linked to DOMS.

knee pain

How Can I Reduce The Pain From Severe DOMS?

There are a few things that you can do to try and reduce the pain that you are suffering with from DOMS. The first is more preventative. Instead of suddenly increasing your workload in the gym or with your physical activity levels, look to steadily increase this over time. It can be hard to not overdo it when training, therefore, if you are suffering, look to do an active recovery. This could be anything from a low intensity bike, a swim or a brisk walk. Getting yourself moving can be great to reduce the pain.

Swimming for recovery

Is it bad for me?

DOMS isn’t necessarily bad for us. However, when we have the muscle soreness, we can quite often take a prolonged break from exercise until we are pain free. So in this sense, it can be a hinderance to performance and physical adaptations. Usually, DOMS just shows that you have taken part in some physical activity that will lead to positive changes in the body.

The key point to remember is that with any sort of physical activity you will place your body under an increased amount of stress. Therefore, if you are suffering with muscle soreness following exercise don’t worry, it shows the body is starting to physically adapt.


Whats A Good Treatment For Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness?

Everyone will react different to treatment for DOMS, as it is varies how we all suffer. However, below is a list of potential treatment ideas to ease the severe pain felt with DOMS. You can prevent DOMS by building up your load through your training program and having a varied programme.

  • Massage
  • Active Recovery
  • Mobility Sessions


Can I Use Supplements To Help Me Recover Better?

In short, yes. Of course you can. In the market today there is a wide variety of products that you can pick and choose from that all do a variety of different things. Whether they help with the preparation or recovery phase of your exercise will depend on what you take. In this blog post, I will try to outline a few different types of supplements, what they do, and how they can help or hinder you.

What do supplements do?

Supplements do exactly what they say, they supplement your diet. They are not a replacement. Supplements can do a whole host of different things, depending on the type of supplement you are taking. Whether you are taking protein powder to increase your protein intake or taking a fruit and greens supplement to boost your intake of micronutrients. They will all look to improve your performance and recovery in their own way. Supplementing your diet can help with:

knee pain
  • Recovery
  • Performance
  • Concentration
  • Immune Function
  • Overall Health

What are the different types of supplements?

There are too many supplement varieties to list out, so we will concentrate on just a few. Supplements will come in powder form, tablet, gummy sweet style and drinks. The list below outlines a few different supplements that you can take.

  • Protein – This is usually taken in powder form and will increase your daily protein intake through a shake. We will talk about choosing the right protein later in this post.
  • Creatine – This is a substance naturally found in our bodies that is key in the role of energy production. This can be taken in powder or tablet form. Supplementing this, will increase your bodies stores on phosphocreatine and increase production of ATP.
  • BCAA + EAA’s – This is branch chain amino acids and essential amino acids. These help with muscle rebuilding after exercise.
  • Pre-Workout – A caffeine supplement that can help improve concentration and performance in an athletic setting. Air on the side of caution with pre-workout though, as some are very potent!
  • Vitamins – As we all know vitamins are fantastic for us! You may look to supplement this to increase your intake. For example, a lack of sunlight can lead to a vitamin D deficiency.

How will a BCAA and EAA supplement affect me?

BCAA’s have been shown to reduce the protein breakdown throughout the whole body, which is key to preserve lean muscle. Whilst it has also been shown that BCAA’s can help to decrease body fat percentage. On the other hand EAA’s have been shown to improve lean body mass too. They aid in the muscle protein synthesis process following exercise, to counteract the muscle breakdown caused through intense physical activity. This is a great supplement to use for muscle recovery.

How do I choose the right protein supplement for me?

The protein powder that is best for you is the one that will help you hit your goals. Whether you are looking to lose weight, increase muscle mass or to maintain your current physique; you need to be careful what you select.

  • Increase Muscle Mass – Aim to get a Whey Protein or a Whey Isolate Protein. These are easily digested and absorbed by the body.
  • Lose Weight – You will want to get a protein powder that is low in sugars. This will take a bit of looking around. Most respectable supplement companies will tell you exactly what is inside each product.
  • Muscle Repair – Look for a powder with a high amount of protein.

Don’t rush into getting a protein powder. You can easily supplement your protein intake through your diet. Look at eating more fish, eggs and consume more milk! Start tracking your dietary intake before purchasing expensive supplements!

Swimming for recovery

Can I still recover quickly without supplements?

Absolutely! If you are already having a healthy, balanced diet, you will be surprised with your current intake of your macronutrients. Many people rush into getting supplements, when really it isn’t needed yet. Your recovery will depend on you. Eating right, staying hydrated, working on your mobility and not overtraining will help you. Take a step back and look at your current lifestyle, are you pre-disposing yourself to injury? Or can you optimise your recovery without supplements?

Feel free to contact us, we are more than happy to answer any questions on supplements that you may have.