12 Tips on Working Out While Recovering from Injuries
If you’ve experienced an injury, getting back to your workout routine can be a frustrating process. You may want to jump back in right away, but your body may not cooperate.
Jumping in too fast won’t help the healing process. It could make things worse and extend your recovery time.
It’s important to listen to your body and take it slow. But there are steps you can take to keep in shape while you heal.
Here are 12 tips for working out while you’re recovering from injuries.
1. Talk to Your Doctor
You may think you’re ready to resume your exercise routine, but before you jump in, talk to your doctor. Getting an all-clear is a good first step to getting back to normal after an injury.
Depending on the extent of your injury, you might need surgery, physical therapy, tests, or other medical treatment. It’s always a good idea to see your doctor to be safe.
Don’t try to self-diagnose or mask the pain with medication. You don’t want to make matters worse or risk permanent injury.
You can’t know the extent of the injury or the best path to recovery without seeing your doctor. Your doctor will evaluate your injury and your fitness level before the injury to determine the best path to recovery.
You may not need to see a doctor for a minor injury. But if you have an injury that limits your physical abilities, it’s always best to get a medical opinion before moving forward.
2. Take Your Time
You may be hoping to get back to serious workouts, long runs, or heavy weights. But an injury leaves you vulnerable, and you need to take your time before jumping into your old fitness routine.
Rushing things can lead to further injury and make your recovery process even longer. It’s okay to slow down and give your body the time it needs.
You may not be able to hit the gym, lift heavy weights, run a marathon, but there are ways you can ease back into exercise without hurting yourself. Easing back is the best plan.
There are always ways to work around your injury and keep your body moving. The key is to take it easy and make good decisions about what’s best for your long-term recovery.
3. Stretch Each Day
After an injury, stretching your muscles is so important. Stretching is one of the safest and best exercises for your body.
Before doing any type of workout, stretch first. Gentle stretches elongate your muscles and help prevent strain and injury.
Stretching before you work out can ease muscle stiffness and soreness. Whether you’re exercising at home, in the gym, or outdoors, be sure to spend several minutes stretching before you begin your workout.
This gets your muscles warmed up, relaxed, and ready to perform. Some natural benefits of stretching include:
- Resistance to injury
- Better flexibility
- Natural stress relief
- Easing or preventing back pain
- Improved blood circulation
Stretching is great for your body as you recover from an injury. A personal trainer or physical therapist may be able to help you choose the right exercises and guide you back into a healthy and safe exercise routine.
4. Listen to Your Body
Pain is the body’s natural warning system. If you’re feeling pain, you should listen to your body.
Your doctor may have prescribed painkillers but be careful about using pain medication and working out. The medication can mask your pain, leading you to believe you’re ready for strenuous exercise.
This can lead to further injury and pain. Avoid taking pain medicine before a workout, and let your body take the lead.
A little pain or soreness following an injury is normal. Extreme pain is not, and you shouldn’t try to push through it.
It’s okay to have some downtime while your body heals and recovers. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself beyond your current limits.
5. Modify your Routine
If you’re healing from an injury, you may not be at your ideal fitness level right now. But there are ways you can keep moving and stay active.
Find alternatives to your normal exercises. Take it easy and find some less challenging ways to workout. Try low impact aerobic exercises to help build up your endurance and strength.
Focus less on intensity and more on duration. While you may want to train your entire body, focusing on a few muscle groups is better than nothing.
The goal is to stay active and healthy while you give your body the healing time it needs.
6. Go for Walks
Your body is made for walking. If possible, go for walks during your recovery period.
When you can’t do your normal workout routine, walking is a wonderful way to keep your body moving and keep your weight down. Walking provides cardiovascular benefits and can help improve your mood during your recovery.
Get outside and take a walk with your partner, your children, or a friend. Walk your dog down the street or around the neighborhood.
Go as slow as you need to and increase your pace little by little. If possible, walk up and down a hilly area.
Brisk walking is a good way to build your endurance. For more intensity, try carrying small hand weights or wear a weighted vest or backpack as you walk.
7. Start Light
If you’re used to lifting heavy weights, it’s a good idea to lighten things up following an injury. Jumping back in with heavy weights too fast can lead to injury and a longer recovery time.
Heavy weight training requires excellent health. Your muscles are constantly straining, pushing, and pulling. Lifting heavy weights put a lot of strain on your body while it’s healing.
Pushing yourself to lift heavy weights can result in chronic muscle injury. It’s not worth the risk.
Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the weight and repetitions as you recover. Although you may be eager to return to normal, it’s not worth the risk of further injury.
Check with your doctor before returning to lifting heavier weights. This is especially important if you’ve suffered a back or neck injury.
These types of injuries require slow and steady progress to heal. Start light and slow and build back your endurance as you heal from your injury.
8. Eat Healthy
Depending on the extent of your injury, recovery could take weeks or even months. During this time, good nutrition is critical to your overall health and wellbeing.
Eating nutritious foods and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential to the body’s healing process. Your body needs extra protein and plenty of vitamins and minerals for active healing.
Some foods lead to inflammation in the body while others have anti-inflammatory properties. You want to stay away from inflammation-producing foods like processed snacks, white flour, fried food, potatoes, tomatoes, and hot peppers.
Instead, you want to eat a variety of lean meats, complex carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables. These foods are packed with vitamins that nourish the body and speed up the healing process. Some important healing nutrients include:
- A multivitamin to prevent deficiencies and promote tissue repair
- Vitamin C with bioflavonoids
- Zinc for tissue repair
- Manganese to strengthen tendons and ligaments
- Vitamin B Complex to reduce injury-related stress
- Calcium for connective tissue repair
- BCAA’s to promote tissue and bone health
- Glucosamine Sulfate to strengthen cartilage, tendons, and ligaments
- Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) to promote cell health and fast recovery
- Silica for connective tissue repair and calcium absorption
You may want to monitor your portion sizes if you’re more sedentary than usual as you recover. Eating healthy each day is a great way to take care of yourself, watch your weight, and possibly speed up your recovery time.
9. Active Recovery Works
Following an injury, active recovery is a process to help you recover and reduce the risk of further injury. Depending on the type and extent of your injury, active recovery can take many different forms.
Some aspects of active recovery may include:
- Good nutrition and hydration
- Massage therapy
- Plenty of rest
- Gentle exercise
- Physical therapy
Your doctor can help you determine which active recovery processes are right for you. If you’ve suffered a serious injury, talk to your doctor before you begin any form of exercise.
Be careful. Some injuries aren’t always noticeable at first, including neck and spine injuries.
10. Stay Positive
Dealing with an injury is never fun. But you have to stay positive and keep the bigger picture in mind.
Maintaining a positive attitude as you recover can help you get through the process and recover faster. There’s a psychological effect to an injury, and it’s normal to go through a grieving process at first.
As it keeps you down physically, it’s easy to let an injury affect your mental health as well. When you’re a fitness enthusiast, it’s especially hard to wait out an injury.
But you cannot make your injury disappear. Pushing through the pain and trying to rush the process won’t help and could make things worse.
Although it may be a lengthy process, you’ll find your way back to where you want to be. In the meantime, be kind to yourself and your body.
Try to focus on the positive and keep moving forward each day. Having patience with the process can bring peace of mind.
11. Get Plenty of Rest
You may be eager to get back to your old workout routine, but don’t forget to give your body the rest it needs for recovery. No matter the injury, rest is a critical part of the healing process.
You may be looking at a lengthy rest period. And this can be hard to take for a diehard workout enthusiast.
A good night’s sleep helps your body and mind rest. Proper rest will help you heal and feel better during the day.
When you have an injury, your body is under more stress than usual. Getting enough rest while you recover helps your body heals.
As you begin to use your muscles again, make sure you rest between exercises too. Be kind to your body, get plenty of rest, and don’t push yourself too hard while you’re healing.
12. Try Physical Therapy
Jumping back into hardcore workouts can be dangerous following an injury. You may be in a hurry to get started, but it’s important to take it slow.
Pushing yourself and handling your recovery alone isn’t always a good idea. If your doctor recommends physical therapy, you should try it.
A physical therapist understands it takes time to heal from an injury. And they understand how to tailor exercises to fit your injury and your recovery needs.
It’s important to rest after an injury, but too much downtime can lead to muscle atrophy. This increases the chances for further injury once you’re feeling better.
A physical therapist can help you maintain your muscle strength and fitness as you recover. They can help you move forward in your recovery without taking any unnecessary risks.
Tips for Recovering from Injuries
After a workout injury, your first instinct may be to push yourself to get better. But recovering from injuries takes time, and you have to take care of yourself.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice for what you can handle. Take your time, eat healthy, and get enough rest.
Remember there’s a psychological aspect to recovery as well. It’s important to remain positive and focus on the future.
Soon, you’ll be on the road to recovery and back to your workout routine. Be sure to visit our website and take a look at our beneficial health supplements.