Are you seeking to return to exercise and get back into your top physical shape after an injury? Here are five smart steps you should take.
There’s never a convenient time for an injury, but it’s especially frustrating when you’ve been doing everything you can to keep your body in shape.
And while an injury may keep you out of the gym for a while, there will come a time when you’re ready to ease back into your old routines.
Now let’s take a look over what are the things you can do to safely return to exercise after a bad injury.
How To Return To Exercise And Fitness
Your body is comprised of a complex network of nerves, tendons, muscles, tissues, and blood vessels. When you go through an injury, your body experiences a disruption in these systems.
And while it’s capable of recovering, there are certain things you can do to facilitate a faster and more efficient recovery.
As you seek to return to exercise and reclaim your peak physical shape, here are some smart steps you can take:
1. Listen To Your Doctor
It’s important that you get medical advice from a doctor. Furthermore, you need to listen to the doctor’s orders.
If your medical team advises you to rest for a week, then rest for a week. If they tell you to use ice and heat to bring down swelling, make sure you’re doing exactly as they say.
The first few days after an injury are crucial to your long-term healing.
2. Take It Slow
Part of listening to your doctor means taking things slow. If you try to return to the gym or continue running like you usually do, you’ll risk re-injury. Instead, ease back into things.
As long as your doctor allows, walking is the best option.
“It’s the most natural type of movement for the body, and if you’re injured, a gentle walk is one of the best ways to keep active,” physical therapist Paul Gough writes. “Swimming is also a great form of gentle exercise. See how your body feels and gradually increase your time spent doing it.”
3. Listen To Your Body
Your body is amazing. If you listen to it, it’ll tell you what’s wrong.
While some pain is normal throughout an injury recovery, other pain isn’t. Sharp, severe pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.
So instead of powering through, you need to stop and rest.
4. Follow A Healthy Diet
What you put in your body has a direct impact on how you feel. It also plays a significant role in your recovery (particularly with soft tissue injuries).
Avoid highly processed foods as much as possible and try to eat fresh food. Vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and beans will serve you well. It’s also important to stay hydrated and to avoid alcohol as much as possible.
5. Hire An Attorney (If Necessary)
If you were injured as a result of something you did – like pull a muscle running on the treadmill or drop a 45-lb weight on your toe – that’s on you.
But if you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence – like in a car accident or a bad fall at work – then you may have some options for recourse.
And in these cases, a personal injury claim may be necessary to help you regain your footing (literally and financially).
“When you’ve been hurt in an accident, one of the reasons you will want to file a claim is to be compensated for all of the ways this accident and your injuries have negatively impacted your life,” Will Ferguson & Associates explain. “Severe injuries will likely equal greater financial losses for you, such as missed work wages and sky-high medical expenses.”
The best way to find out if you have a claim – and for how much – is to hire a personal injury lawyer. If nothing else, a consultation with one will let you know where things stand.
Don’t Let Your Injury Define You
Your injury doesn’t need to be the defining point of your life. As the cliché goes, it should be viewed as a minor setback for a major comeback.
Now’s the time to come up with a game plan for getting back into the gym and rebuilding the physical stamina you’ve worked so hard to achieve over the years.