You've got yourself into a groove, you're seeing results, and then boom. You're injured.
When you're getting fit, having to take time off for an injury can feel catastrophic. There's no need to give up on your fitness and lose hope though, maintaining your fitness during recovery can actually help you get back on your feet faster.
Going back to the gym can be a good idea when you're injured, as long as you do it in the right way. Keep reading to find out how to maintain your fitness levels when you're injured, without risking your health.
1. Understand Your Injury
One of the most important things to do when you want to keep fit while injured is to understand your injury in the first place. Some injuries require isolated rest, like broken and fractured bones. Other injuries need gentle exercise to keep the range of motion and stability, like joint and tendon injuries.
When you're injured, speak to a medical professional. Physiotherapists and sports injury specialists are experts in advising how much you can use the injured area. This will guide your fitness and rehabilitation journey while recovering.
If you've suffered injury in a work-place or auto accident, you might need to see a specialist injury doctor.
2. Consider Cross-Training
Have you been hitting the treadmill too hard? Did you sprain an ankle in cross fit? When your injury is a result of the sport or workout you do the most, cross-training can be the perfect way to stay in shape while you're injured.
Swimming is a great exercise for cross-training as it supports your body weight while working every muscle. No matter what you choose, remember to take it easy.
3. Eat Healthily
An injury isn't an excuse to eat junk food and wallow in discomfort. All the results you worked hard for will disappear if you eat poorly and your recovery time will slow down too.
Eat unprocessed foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables. This will give your body the strength and nutrition it needs to stay fit and recovery quickly.
4. Focus on Rehabilitation
When you rest an injury, the muscles around it lose strength if they're not getting much use. Many injuries require specific, targeted rehabilitation. Often, you'll hear advice to use resistance bands or bodyweight exercises to help maintain strength in that area.
While rehab exercises are rarely fun, don't skimp on them. They'll keep the injured area strong and speed up recovery.
5. Keep Your Routine Up
One of the main ways we lose fitness when injured is because we rest our entire bodies instead of just the injured area. Staying at home every evening instead of going to the gym, as usual, will get you out of your workout habit.
Maintaining your routine will keep you moving about and make it easier to get back into your fitness schedule when you're fully recovered. Stick with your normal routine but dial it back to gentle exercises, walking or stretching.
Going Back to the Gym Doesn't Have to Be Hard
By giving up your routine and turning to junk food and too much rest, your fitness results will go out the window. Going back to the gym instead can be a good way to retain your fitness, even while injured.
Always talk to the right medical professional about your injury so you understand what will help it or harm it. Explore gentle cross-training and keep your routine up. By eating healthily and staying active, you'll recover faster and be ready to crank it up the moment you're fully recovered.
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