So you got some sort of an exercise injury and you’ve been out of action for a while? Here’s a guide to getting back in shape the safe way!
Remember when the only pain you felt was soreness the day after a killer workout? The sort of discomfort that makes you feel smug, not self-pitying? Let’s get back there.
If you’ve hurt yourself and you’re coming back from an exercise injury, there are some steps to follow to get back to peak fitness safely. If you’re ready for a guide to getting back in shape the safe way, read on!
Getting Fit After An Exercise Injury
If there’s one thing worse than injury, it’s an injury on an active person. They keep asking you to rest, or ‘work it gently’, but these haven’t been phrases in your active-life-lexicon. But it is what it is.
So if you’ve experienced a personal injury or sports injury, but you’re dying to get back into it, how can you best approach recovery?
1. Forget Training
Stop counting the training days you’re missing, and stop feeling frustration or guilt about it. It is what it is. The best thing you can do right now is to heal your body right so you can work back to peak condition slowly – and stay there once you get it done.
Sometimes pride or reckless determination get in our way. We want the lighting-fast recovery, we want to be the hero that sprang right back from injury. Stories of this are rare – and for a reason.
If you push your body before it’s ready, you might just get back to the performance level you were at pre-injury. But it’s unlikely you’ll stay there since you haven’t built up enough global fitness to support that sort of impact yet. So go slow, play the long-game.
2. Mark-Up Your Calendar
One trick to stop focussing on the regular training sessions you’re missing is to fill your calendar with the ‘new’ training.
Pilates classes, yoga sessions, physio appointments, water running, rest days, and massages. This way you can still feel like you’re super active, but the activity is all gentle, injury-recovery activity.
The time you’re out of action will depend on your injury. If it’s a sprain that had you out of action for two or three weeks, it’ll be five or six weeks until you’re back to peak performance.
If your injury was something severe like a break or surgery, it’ll be a long road back. But you’ll have a team of physio and exercise specialists to help you in the process.
3. Try New Things
If your recovery team is on-board with it, start some different exercises.
Pilates is brilliant for strengthening joints and connective tissue to get you stronger and keep you injury-free long-term. Make sure your instructor has completed a high standard of Pilates teacher training and has plenty of experience.
Yoga will strengthen your core and give your muscles flexibility like you won’t believe.
Ask your local pool if they run water running or water aerobics. While day classes can fill up with your parents’ generation, night classes are often full of fit-but-injured people like yourself.
Water running allows you to work the lower-body with resistance – the water – but without impact on joints or your injury.
Once the pain subsides, try to work out for the same amount of time you would before, but with different exercises.
Aside from pilates, yoga, and water running, consider fitness walking. That’s a brisk, mindful walk, with lots of arm-swinging to get your heart pumping and the blood moving.
Cycling is another great option for low-impact exercise to get your back to shape post-injury. There’s bound to be a local cycle club you can join for a Sunday session – but start small!
4. Lower The Weights
If you get the nod to resume weight-training, there are some rules to follow.
If you roll into the gym and try to pick up where you left off pre-injury, you’re headed for more time with your physio. Start with just the movements, building up to doing them with light weights.
In the space of a month, your body loses adaptations its made from the previous strength-training. That means it might feel frustrating, and you might feel weak when you first step back into the gym.
But, as they say, the only way out is through – so get to it! Start at roughly 75% of the weight you were at before, and see how you go from there.
5. Avoid Intensity – At Least To Start
Your first weeks back in the gym shouldn’t involve HIIT, Pump or Crossfit. You need to build your muscle strength back up slowly.
Once you’re feeling stronger and have some endurance picking back up, you can start these classes again.
Part of the issue with these high-intensity classes is it’s easy to fall into the trap of competing with the person next to you.
Until you’ve properly overcome this exercise injury, you’re in a race with yourself and no one else. Sorry; it’s trite but it’s true.
Once your physio tells you to try a class, once it’s time, make sure you let the instructor know you’re coming back from an exercise injury. Let them know what activities are still no-nos for you so they can offer alternatives to you during the class.
A good instructor will be able to do this with subtlety so you won’t need to feel self-conscious.
Get Started Getting Back In Shape!
There you have it, getting back to the fit state you were in before is absolutely possible. There are some safety precautions you’ll have to take. Like going slowly, and occasionally working out under your physical therapist’s supervision.
But there’s no reason to put it off any longer. If you’re ready for getting back in shape, then get to it! If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to bookmark our site!