Exercise After An Injury
Whether youre an Olympic athlete or an Average Joe who jogs one mile per day, you will likely suffer from some type of injury in your lifetime. As you seek medical attention, your doctor may tell you to rest, ice, compress, and elevate the area of concern. And after the injured area begins to heal, you may anxiously anticipate returning to your beloved athletic activity.
But, proceed with caution! Diving headfirst into your exercise program at the level prior to your injury may cause re-injury or further setbacks. Judi Sheppard Missett, founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Inc., offers the following tips for returning to your workout program after an injury
Let your body heal – Dont rush back into your regular exercise activity. Ask your doctor about when you can return to your fitness program, and follow your docs advice!
Warm-up slowly The American College of Sports Medicine recommends warming up with 5 to 10 minutes of mild activity. This is increasingly important when you are nursing an injury.
Try cross-training In order to prevent or recover from overuse injuries, its important to vary your exercise activities. If you are a runner, then try cycling, swimming, or power yoga.
Pace yourself Dont increase your level of activity too quickly. Start at a basic level, and then increase your workout by about 10 percent each week.
Keep a workout log Write down how long you exercise each day and the types of activities that you do. This workout log can be helpful when you visit your doctor to discuss your progress.
Watch for compensation Your body naturally seeks to protect itself. So, the way that your body moves to avoid pain from a foot injury may lead to a knee injury, then lower-back pain. Be watchful about how your body is moving, so that one injury doesnt lead to a cascade of maladies.
Stretch properly Your quest to return to your previous fitness level will not be complete without proper stretching. Never stretch before your warm-up, as your muscles are cold and more likely to be injured. Try stretching towards the end of your workout. Use a slow and even approach, without bouncing.
Listen to your body “No pain, no gain” is an outdated, unsafe line of thinking. In fact, pain or discomfort is your bodys way of telling you to slow down.
It may be frustrating, but taking your time to rebuild your fitness level is crucial to avoid re-injury. Take your time, pay attention to your bodys warning signs, and the results will come.