Anyone who has suffered a moderate to severe injury understands the long-term impact such an injury can have on the body. Most doctors and therapists will encourage some form of exercise while recovering from a serious injury. However, the ability to exercise as well as the energy to do so may be lacking for some time.
Prolonged periods of inactivity are detrimental to the body and a return to exercise should take place as soon as possible. Safety should remain a priority, however, and you should be mindful of a number of issues when returning to exercise after an injury.
Listen to Your Body
The “no pain, no gain” mantra that is oft-repeated in fitness circles should not be applied when you are returning to exercise following an injury. Pain is your body’s way of alerting you to a problem.
The reintroduction of exercise to the body after a period of inactivity will place muscles under a great deal of stress. The normal ‘burn’ that accompanies exercise is normal and not much of a concern. But pains in muscles or joints that persist may be a sign you are trying to do too much. Also, rest and recovery will be essential when returning to exercise after an injury. A lingering pain may be a sign more rest and recovery are needed between workouts.
Start with Walking
Walking is the most natural movement for the human body. This makes walking the perfect exercise to choose after suffering an injury.
Many people tend to underestimate the effect an injury will have on their body in the long-term. This is especially true for individuals injured suddenly in events like car accidents. Car accident injuries should never be underestimated, as they can have a major impact on your life.
When returning to exercise, don’t overdo it. Start with a gentle walk and increase the distance and pace with time.
Slow and Steady
You should not expect your body to immediately do the things it did before the injury. It will take time for the strength, endurance, and flex ability you possessed before to return. You will have to be patient and give your body the time it needs.
Start by exercising at about 20 percent below the capacity at which you believe you are able to achieve. You can then increase your exercise intensity as you feel your body makes the necessary adjustments. This approach will allow your body to regain what was lost due to injury without subjecting your body to an unnecessary risk of further injury or setback.
Returning to exercise after experiencing an injury can sometimes be a difficult task. Many individuals have suffered great frustration upon their return to exercise once fully understanding the impact the injury has had on their body. However, the five tips above are an excellent starting point to resume your normal level of physical activity safely without placing yourself at risk of experiencing further injury.
Whenever you’re recovering from an injury and wanting to start working out again, it’s essential to work with a personal trainer. You need to make sure you’re not going to hurt yourself, and a personal trainer who is able to guide you and your workouts will help you stop you from hurting yourself again.