It’s challenging to build up momentum in your fitness regiment, only to find yourself stopped in your tracks by an injury. Once you’ve recovered, you may feel like you’re having trouble getting back into your old routine. It’s natural to take a bit of time to get back up to speed, and some exercises and techniques can help. If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading to find tips for getting back in shape after an injury.
Check-in With Your Doctor
Before you start any routine, it is good practice to talk to your doctor, physical therapist, or another professional aiding your recovery. These professionals can advise when you can exercise again without risk of reinjury; stretches and warmups also help strengthen the injured area of your body.
Take Things Slow
You may feel the urge to start things right back where you left off, but that is a recipe for disaster. It’s better to err on the side of caution to minimize the risk of flare-ups and reinjury. Try to only go at a maximum of 80 percent of your former routine to re-train your body. You may even want to go less than that, depending on how much time has passed since you last exercised. If you were used to long runs, try to alternate between running and jogging or briskly running. For heavier weights, try to lighten the load until you can comfortably hit your previous marks.
Try Some Gentle Exercises
You don’t have to feel as if you are stuck doing nothing while in recovery. There are very light exercises that are gentler on the body that can get you moving. If you have access to a pool or body of water you can enter, swimming is a great way to take the strain off your muscles while keeping buoyant. There are also some simple and fun exercises in the water you can do with lightweights and pool noodles. If you can get on your feet, you can also take slow walks through the park or around town.
Focus On Nutrition
Even if you can’t get back into a fitness routine right away, you can still pay attention to the foods you’re putting into your body. You will naturally burn fewer calories than if you’re active; hence, it is an excellent time to commit to eating healthier foods that will aid in your recovery. Good nutrition can also help maintain higher serotonin levels to keep you from falling into a depression while you’re out of commission.
You don’t have to feel helpless after an injury. Just know that there are many tips for getting back in shape after an injury to help ease any anxieties. Once you recover, you’re more than ready to build your momentum again.