Returning to your regular workout routine after a serious injury takes time and patience. Here’s how to extend your recovery after injury.
You don’t want to jump back to the gym too soon. The best way to get back to your workout is to extend your recovery time just a little bit beyond what your doctor advises.
While your body might feel ready to get back into action, that feeling could be misleading.
Just like you would take time to rest between workout sessions to allow your muscles to recover, after a car accident, your body needs time to heal.
Healing after a serious injury involves more than what you can see on the outside. While your bruises and lacerations look healed, the inner workings of your body might be lagging behind.
For instance, you might be experiencing nightmares, anxiety, depression, and flashbacks.
If your psychological injuries are severe enough to warrant counseling, make sure your lawyer includes mental health damages in your request for compensation. According to Braud & Gallagher, psychological trauma is common after a car accident, just like burns and broken bones.
How To Extend Your Recovery After An Injury
Here are a few tips that will help you extend your recovery after a car injury (or any other type of injury):
1. Stress Will Delay And Destroy Your Progress
Even when you’ve physically recovered from an injury, your body might still be under extreme stress. If your adrenal glands are pumping out large amounts of adrenaline and cortisol, any progress you make could be thwarted.
Excess cortisol increases insulin and causes your body to store more fat around your midsection. If you jump into your regular workout routine while your body is pumping out excess cortisol, you’ll be backtracking with your progress.
High levels of cortisol can also cause you to lose muscle mass. When recovering from an injury, you want to preserve muscle mass and build more to make up for what you may have lost while incapacitated.
2. Use Resistance Bands To Get Back Into Your Workout
When your doctor gives you clearance to use resistance bands, start pumping elastic! Resistance bands don’t look fierce like a rack of barbells and dumbbells, but they get the job done and are relatively safer.
Like any piece of exercise equipment, bands come with potential risks, but unlike weights, bands prevent injury to your joints.
When using free weights, the force applied to your muscles happens on the vertical plane. Most injuries occur when someone is trying to support forces outside of the vertical plane.
With weights, the force being applied to your muscles is weaker in certain areas of motion, which gives your muscles a moment of rest. You don’t want that moment of rest because it will take longer for you to fatigue the muscle and initiate growth.
Bands, on the other hand, provide constant tension throughout all ranges of motion and activate more muscle fibers than weights.
With bands, it’s impossible to generate momentum, which means you can’t cheat yourself out of your workout.
3. Continue With Band Training Rather Than Weights
Once you ease yourself back into your workout using standard bands, consider adopting a high-quality, heavy band system instead of going back to weights.
Dr. John Jaquish, the creator of the Osteostrong medical device used to increase bone density, also created a heavy resistance band system using a footplate and an Olympic-grade bar.
There are three main differences between Dr. Jaquish’s X3 bar and standard bands:
- First, it comes with an Olympic-grade bar that allows you to push and pull more weight than you could with handles.
- Second, it comes with a footplate that stabilizes the band under your feet. The band runs through a channel underneath the footplate so it can move freely.
- The third difference is the way the bands are made to endure intense use.
To learn more about how the X3 bar works, Dr. Jaquish talks about the mechanics of his device in a podcast from the Human Performance Outliers:
4. Take Extra Days Off
Perhaps the most important aspect of extending your recovery time is to take extra days off anytime you feel the need.
If you don’t want to work out, don’t. It doesn’t mean you’re being lazy. It’s important to listen to your body, and if you’re not up to the task, skip the gym.
Stay at home. Eat an ice cream sandwich if you want. When you’re recovering from serious injury, you deserve a cheat meal.
As you can see, rest plays a huge role in your recovery process, especially after a serious injury or accident. So why won’t you try to extend your recovery before hitting the gym again? Just follow these tips and you’ll get back on track in no time.
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