It could be a few agonising weeks or months before you’re back working out after your health and fitness goals are derailed by an injury. And on top of that, you’re probably feeling the flow-on effects of not exercising regularly.
It’s likely that you’re less focused at work, your energy levels have dipped, or that you even find yourself eating less healthy meals.
Getting back into fitness after an injury doesn’t have to be difficult. A well-thought-out plan and a positive attitude to recovery are all you need.
Get some help
Seek treatment from a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist or another health professional – your body is well worth the investment. Carefully listen to their advice. This seems like a no-brainer, but people often have their own thoughts about their recovery time. Whether it’s strengthening exercises, stretches or rest – follow your rehab plan and do your stretches or exercises habitually.
Ease back into your training
Don’t let the excitement of getting back to the gym cause any further injury.
We all enjoy the feeling after a great workout. But it’s better not to come into your first session guns blazing. Remember that your fitness has probably declined, and those muscle fibres have probably shrunk so you will need to ease your way back into training. Listen to your body as you begin to workout because our bodies are great feedback mechanisms.
Once you have the all clear, take it easy to begin with. As an example, you might want to reduce your efforts by 30% to begin with, choose movements that are less challenging or limit the weight and range of motion of the exercises you do. See how you feel after the workout and change it up next time you’re at the gym.
Remember that the program that you were on pre-injury mightn’t cut it post-injury. This is also a great time to focus on your weaknesses by strengthening other areas of your body.
Stay motivated and focused
Consider having a training buddy; it’ll keep both of you accountable and focused. Think of this time as an opportunity to reconsider your fitness goals and regime, try a new routine or start a gym program with friend at a similar fitness level to you.
When it comes to your health, fitness and lifestyle, it’s important to heed any expert advice you receive. Recovering from any injury becomes a little easier after you’ve had professional treatment, planned ahead and jumped (slowly!) back into it.