Working Out After Injury: The Hard Truths
When you are used to being active and exercise forms a big part of your life, an injury can be devastating. You can feel lost, and without the buzz of working out, it’s easy to be miserable.
But it’s also easy to try and get back to exercising before you are ready – meaning you are risking a lot longer on the treatment table. So, the big question for today is – what’s the best way to get back to exercise post-injury? We’re going to have a closer look at some of the most critical guidelines. Let’s get started right away.
Don’t dive in too fast
First of all, you might be feeling a lot better, but you shouldn’t start working out to the extent you were before. You will need to take it slow and steady, building your strength and fitness up over time. You run the risk of injury if you don’t take it slow – not just to the recovered area, but also the rest of your body. Your overall fitness will have taken a big knock, and that means your body will be weaker.
Limit to low-impact exercise
First of all, limit your workouts so that you aren’t doing high-impact exercises. Even walking can help you build up strength, so get out there as much as you possibly can. Swimming is also a great exercise for recovering from injury. The water helps support your body, meaning you can have a great workout without putting your injured areas under pressure.
When you are easing yourself back into fitness, there’s a chance your injury needs a little help. Use support bands – a knee brace, for example, if you are recovering from a knee injury. It will help protect the area concerned and keep things in place, while you strengthen up.
Underestimate your abilities
You might feel like you are 100% fit and ready to blast through all manner of exercises. But the truth is that you are kidding yourself. Think about how hard you can push yourself, and always reduce that to a significantly lower amount. So, if you think you can manage 100 push-ups, try doing 50 instead. As you get stronger, increase the amount. Your mind will play tricks on you as you rush back to previous fitness levels. But the truth is your body won’t be able to handle it – for the moment, at least.
Seek out expert advice
A physiotherapist or kinesiologist will help you develop a robust plan to get you back to full fitness. There is plenty of info out there, but the truth is you can’t trust everything you read online. Hiring a professional to work with will give you a much better shot of a full recovery.
Know your pain
As every fitness instructor will tell you, pain is necessary to get results. But the slow burn and shaky legs of a big workout aren’t the same as going too far. Listen to your body and understand the differences. Twinges, sharp shooting pains, or worse can all occur – and are not normal. And, if you keep pushing, you can almost guarantee you will end up in a worse position than you are now.
Take it steady out there, folks – and good luck with the recovery!