After sustaining a broken bone, it is critical that the injury remain immobilized. You will likely be using a device such as a cast or a splint to keep the injury stable, or you may have had to undergo surgery. However, you can still engage in exercises as long as they don’t put pressure on the break itself.
Improved Blood Flow
Any activity you can participate in that won’t risk destabilizing the bone itself or a fall can and should be done. If your legs aren’t impacted, consider walking. If you need to wear a sling to keep a broken wrist elevated, do your best to keep your shoulders square and your head elevated to reduce strain. You might also be able to use a recumbent bike. If you’ve had a leg, knee or foot injury, you can lift light weights or use an arm bike. There are also several exercises designed for wheelchair users that can help you build strength and flexibility. Best of all, getting your blood flowing to all parts of your body can improve the healing process by boosting your body’s healing power and lifting your spirits.
Increasing Bone Density
Load-bearing exercise can reduce your risk of osteoporosis, and even individuals who’ve lost bone density can gain some of it back by altering their diet, quitting smoking and engaging in load-bearing exercise. Walking, climbing stairs and weightlifting can all help you maintain your remaining bone density. If you’re recovering from a bone break, do everything you can do to keep the injury stable as you continue with your exercise program. Just be careful not to overdo it to avoid slowing the healing process and causing complications resulting from the break. Also, be aware that your balance may be off as you try to return to your regular activities. When you stand up from a chair, turn or start walking, try to start slowly and allow your body to adjust its balance as you step off.
Just because you have an injury doesn’t mean you can’t continue exercising. In fact, exercising can help your bones heal faster. The best kinds of exercise to do to help your bones heal are ones that require a load on the bone. Examples of these kinds of exercises are running, fast walking, and aerobics. Research has shown that when a load is exerted on a broken bone, ATP levels rise, which then stimulate new bone growth. Of course, if your injury limits your ability to do these things, you can modify them to suit your needs.
If you can start an exercise program when you’re in a cast, you can do it at any time or in any place. Exercise will improve your mood and make your daily living easier as well as limit your bone loss and even increase your bone density. You can do this!