How to Maintain Fitness While Injured
It’s a common story. You get into a fitness routine, you are feeling good about it, and boom! You’re derailed by an injury. Suddenly, you have to stay off that leg, rest your ankle or wrist, or immobilize some other body part. Fortunately, you don’t have to stop exercising entirely just because you’re injured, and in fact can use exercise for injury recovery. Here’s how to work out safely while recovering from an illness.
Injury Recovery and Staying Active
The first step is to discuss your activity level with your doctor. Don’t rely on a self-diagnosis or try to push through pain, but seek medical care so that you will know exactly what is wrong. Ask plenty of questions, including what limitations you should put on your activity. Be frank about your fitness goals, and ask your doctor to give you specific parameters for the level activity you can safely pursue. You may need to take some time off to recover, but it may not be necessary to stop all exercise. You might just need to pull back on the intensity, or you might need to find creative ways to work around your injury. If you have injured your leg for instance, focus on working your upper body. If you’ve broken your arm, you can still walk and use certain machines. You may need to be flexible, and try something new, but as long as you have your doctor’s approval, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to maintain your base of fitness.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
It is easy to feel defeated, sad, or even angry when you are suddenly sidelined from your activity of choice. It can be very frustrating to feel like you have to put your progress on hold, knowing you are going to have to rebuild your fitness habits once you have recovered. It is important to remain positive and be patient with yourself, being realistic about your recovery goals and congratulating yourself when you reach them. Understand that it will take some time to get back to where you were, and do not rush the process; pushing too hard can worsen the injury and further delay your recovery.
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to the feedback your body is giving you. Being a little bit uncomfortable is ok, and you can push past a little bit of pain to make gains when you are working out. However, serious pain, fatigue, and sounds like popping and clicking can tell you that something is wrong, and you should pull back. Never take pain medication to push through a workout, because you will run the risk of causing further damage.
Make the Most of Your Down Time
Maybe you can’t work out the way you are accustomed to doing, but you can focus on other aspects of your fitness. Eat a nutritious diet, filling it with anti-inflammatory foods like berries, dark chocolate, wild-caught salmon, dark greens, red, green and yellow peppers, fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, and spices like turmeric, ginger, and garlic. Don’t cut back on calories while you’re recovering, but do avoid processed or fried foods, as well as sugary snacks. Make sure you get plenty of restorative sleep while in recovery, because the body’s natural healing processes kick into high gear while you’re sleeping. The better care you take of your body while you are recovering, the faster you will be back on your feet and making progress towards your fitness goals.
Safely Reaching Fitness Goals at Wellbridge
When you are recovering from an illness, it helps to have a knowledgeable team to help you find the safest ways to remain active. At the Wellbridge Family of Athletic Clubs, we’re all about helping you reach your goals and live your best life. That’s why we offer world-class training that keeps up to date with the latest in health and wellness. At our clubs, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team before you’re challenged and motivated by top-notch instructors in our fitness classes. You’ll make new friends because you belong here. Join today or contact us to learn more.