If you’ve been injured and you’re an active person, you are probably bummed that you will lose the progress you’ve made on your fitness journey. That, of course, cannot be helped. Right now, you need to focus on recovery. However, depending upon the severity of the injury, your fitness level, and your doctor’s professional advice, you may be able to get back to some type of exercise program sooner than you think. Here are five tips for exercising after an injury.
Tip #1: Talk to Your Doctor
It cannot be emphasized enough that you need to consult with your doctor before resuming any fitness activities. They are usually the most familiar with your individual situation. The nature of your injury may be very different than others. Even if you know someone with a similarly labeled injury, it’s always best to seek a medical opinion from your doctor.
Your fitness level before the injury will likely be taken into account to determine when you can begin to start exercising again. Depending upon your injury, there may be alternative workout options, like walking, that your doctor considers safe to do even with the injury. Something such as a light walk is usually better than nothing.
Tip #2: Start Slow
Once you have clearance from your doctor to resume activity, proceed gradually and with caution. Your doctor will likely suggest easing back into an exercise routine. Often the recommendation is to start with low-impact, low-risk activities such as walking on a level surface, swimming, or cycling. Then, working slowly to get back to where you left off.
Do not risk further injury by pushing yourself too hard or too fast. Slow and steady is the key. Also, it is imperative to stop immediately if you feel any pain.
Tip #3: Stretching
You may be cleared or even advised to perform some light stretching exercises despite your injury, likely with injury-specific modifications. The science of stretching is still being researched and debated, but generally, stretching is widely believed to be beneficial. Healthline.com lists some general benefits of stretching like the ones below:
- Relieves stress
- Heals and prevents back pain
- Improves your performance in physical activities
- Increases blood flow to your muscles
- Increases flexibility
Tip #4: Focus on Proper Form
You likely already know the importance of performing your exercise of choice correctly. It could not be more true and especially so when recovering from an injury. It may even be worth an investment and spending some time with a personal trainer who will be able to guide you back into your regimen safely.
Tip #5: Practice Active Recovery After a Workout
This is something that often gets neglected but is vital to any fitness plan. After an injury, active recovery can reduce your risk of hurting yourself again. The American Council on Exercise states that post-workout active recovery incorporates:
- Cryotherapy, the formal word to describe the practice of putting ice on sore muscles
- Deep tissue massages using foam rollers or getting a professional massage
- Staying hydrated and eating well
- Proper, post-workout stretching
Total Chiropractic and Wellness
Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness will evaluate your specific needs and offer a comprehensive plan that incorporates a safe fitness routine. Caring for our patients overall and continued well-being is important to us. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recover from your injury.