How to Bounce Back Into Exercise After an InjuryArticle posted in: Fitness
You fell down the stairs. Or maybe you fell up. You twisted your ankle playing tennis. Or maybe you twisted it getting out of bed. Serious and silly injuries happen all the time. While it’s tempting to ignore the pain of an injury and keep on going for the sake of weight loss, rest is imperative to healing. If you’ve gone through healing process and are no longer experiencing pain, you may want to start incorporating exercise back into your day.
Consider the following before jumping back into your regular exercise routine after an injury:
Get The Doc’s OK
You may feel totally fine. However, it’s always wise to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen again. Even if they give you the green light, Harvard Health says it’s smart to give yourself two days of rehab for each day of inactivity due to an injury. Take it slow with gentle, range-of-motion exercises and slowly increase to weight-bearing, regular activities says Harvard Health. Calisthenics, light weights and resistance equipment can help rebuild tissues.
Research shows that there are many potential benefits to practicing yoga. According to the International Journal of Yoga, yoga is a 3,000-year-old tradition that combines physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation to promote physical and emotional well-being. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that it can enhance strength and flexibility, improve respiratory and cardiovascular health, decrease stress and chronic pain and improve quality of life. If you’ve never taken a class before, don’t worry. There are dozens of yoga practices and most athletic clubs or studios offer beginner classes. To make the most of your yoga class and practice, Harvard Health recommends using heat or massage to warm up injured tissues before exercising, then switch to ice afterwards to decrease inflammation.
Make sure to keep track of your yoga session by logging it in the South Beach Diet Tracker App! >
Like yoga, tai chi offers many physical and psychological benefits. According to Mayo Clinic, tai chi is known as “meditation in motion.” It is said to be beneficial for stress and other health problems using slow, gentle and fluid movements. Its a low impact activity that is said to improve balance and flexibility. Spine-Health.com explains the three components of tai chi as movement, breathing and meditation. Learn tai chi by doing an internet search to find a studio or gym in your area. You can also practice tai chi at home by streaming an online video.
Jump in the Pool
Swimming is another low impact activity that can aid in injury recovery. According to Dignityhealth.org, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends swimming or walking in the water for injury rehabilitation. The pressure and resistance are beneficial and allow you to stay active while you’re healing. Harvard Health says that warm water can also soothe sore joints and muscles. As with yoga and tai chi, swimming and water activities are on par with improving mood and promoting relaxation says the Centers for Disease Control. If you don’t have a pool at home, consider signing up for a membership at your local gym or community pool to enjoy its many benefits.
Just Keep Moving
Don’t let a physical injury injure your pride. You can and will get healthy again; it just requires slow, deliberate strides. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), exercise form is key to proper recovery. Do your research and ensure you are using proper form in your activities. If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to ask for help and consult a physical trainer. With any type of exercise, ACE recommends that you keep your spine long, relax your shoulders and move from your hips. Pain will tell you if you need to stop or switch things up. After your workout, make sure to take care of yourself. ACE suggests proper stretching, ice and using a foam roller to massage the injury.
*Always speak with a doctor before starting an exercise routine.