Getting Back In Shape After An Injury
Whether you play a sport or exercise regularly as a part of a healthy lifestyle, at one point or another, you are probably going to have to deal with an injury. People deal with injuries differently from one another. Some people think an injury is the be all, end all to their steady workout routine, while others think they can push through the injury and refuse to stop working out. For the most part, athletes and fitness gurus alike want to get back to their fitness routine as soon as possible after an injury.
Here are a few tips to get your body back into shape without risking the possibility of re-injuring yourself.
Visit Your Doctor
Don’t try to self-diagnose your injury, see a doctor as soon as possible after sustaining your injury. It’s important to let a doctor assess your injury because so many different injuries share the same symptoms. For minor injuries, most doctors recommend the “RICE” technique, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Rest: Minimize movement to the injured body part to prevent further harm.
Ice: Ice should be applied to the injury immediately after the injury. Ice the injury for 20 minutes on and off.
Compression: Compressing the injury will help reduce the swelling.
Elevate: Elevating the injured body part above the level of your heart will allow gravity to drain the fluid.
Don’t Cover Up
Don’t assume that simply taking pain killers, wearing supports, or wrapping your injury will take care of it. Using supports can cause imbalance if used improperly. If you try to mask the pain, you risk worsening your condition, which will keep you out of the gym even longer.
Patience is Key
Follow your doctor’s orders and don’t let the fear of getting out of shape or gaining weight convince you to go back too soon. The body needs time to health itself.
Don’t Assume or Take Unnecessary Risks
As your doctor if you’re unsure about the recovery process of your injury. If you injure your lower body but assume you can still do upper body exercises, you may want to think again. Certain lower body injuries may affect your ability to do upper-body exercises. Here are a few questions to ask your doctor:
- How long should I rest?
- What are some safe exercises to perform?
- Do you have a plan I can follow to speed up the healing process?
- Are there any supplements I can take to speed up the recovery process?
When you start training after an injury, keep in mind that your body will not be in as good of shape as it was before the injury. Follow a slow approach to getting back into good physical shape. For the first few weeks, focus on exercise durations instead of intensity. If you’re an avid runner, try training in a swimming pool to keep up your endurance without putting stress on your injured body part.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Look at your injury as a minor set back, don’t let it deter you from continuing to live a healthy lifestyle. If you feel low, try doing other activities to take your mind off of your injury. Lastly, maintain your healthy diet and adjust your calorie intake to take account for your lack of physical activity.