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37 percent of athletes don’t return to the sports they love because of a fear of reinjury.
You may have been injured skiing down the slopes or have suffered whiplash at the hands of a careless driver, but you shouldn’t let an injury keep you from staying fit and healthy.
While there is always a chance of being injured again, if you take the proper steps for getting back into working out, you can return to the sport or routine that you love.
However, if you rush back without letting even a minor injury heal you could require surgery and chronic pain later in life.
Follow this advice and learn how to get back into working out the safe way.
The worst mistake you can make when returning after an injury is pretending like it never happened.
Even if the pain has gone away and regular activity seems simple enough, there is no reason to push yourself.
Starting slow is the best way to test how your body is recovering and let your muscles and joints learn what it feels like to move again.
Walking is a great starting point, even if your injury may not be in the legs or back.
Taking a gentle stroll or lap around a local track will get your heart rate a little bit elevated and allow your blood to pump to all of your limbs. Walking also reduces inflammation and stiffness in your joints.
Our bodies most natural movement should be simple and stress-free. Another excellent exercise that will gently reintroduce movement is swimming.
Should either of these provide any pain or discomfort, you are either getting back into movement too soon or should reach out to your doctor to discuss any residual effects of your injury.
Take it Down a Notch
When you do finally return to the routine your established before your injury, make sure to remember that even a short break may have caused your muscles to atrophy or the connections between your nerves and brain to weaken with disuse.
A good rule of thumb is to reduce your normal load by 20%. While that might be easy to measure if you are a weightlifter or long-distance runner, it may be a little more challenging to gauge if you are a yoga junky.
If you are taking a class, it is a regular practice for your instructor to ask if anyone has any injuries or trouble spots before the class beings.
Don’t be shy. Let the teacher know if you have suffered a sprain or are recovering from some other injury. If your instructor is worth their salt, they will prevent you from taking any pose or participate in a motion that will cause more considerable pain.
Give your body some time and slowly build back up to your previous regimen.
Get Some Therapy
A licensed physical therapist, trainer or chiropractor could be the difference between a quick recovery and a nagging injury.
Specific exercises can strengthen your muscles and ligaments. By customizing a workout to treat the affected areas of your body, you will be easing back into working out.
Limping or favoring a side of your body can also result in physical ailments that were not present before your injury.
By having an expert evaluate your muscles, spine, nervous system and connective tissue you can not only be able to come up with the proper treatments for your specific injury, but also figure out if there is any misalignment that could create issues down the road.
To learn more about a post-injury evaluation, it’s always a good idea to connect with a professional.
Your Body is a Temple
Nutrition and hydration are just as crucial to recovery as the physical elements.
By creating a healthy diet that is high in protein and fatty acids and low in sugar, you are creating the optimal conditions for recovery.
Protein will not only help you rebuild the loss of muscle mass from your atrophied area but will also help reduce inflammation to keep you moving.
Water is also a key to recovery even if you are not injured. Our muscles are 75% water and will not be able to rebuild and repair if that level drops.
Being well hydrated also helps with fatigue and digestion. Both of which are crucial pieces of a healthy lifestyle and even more important when trying to get back into shape.
What you put into your body is often reflective of what you get out of it. So eating foods high in sugar is never a good idea.
Treat your body like the wondrous miracle that it is and you will get results.
Get Your ZZZZZs
Your body repairs yourself while it sleeps. If you are having trouble sleeping, chances are you will have issues recovering from an injury.
In addition to refraining from late night computer, TV and smartphone use, here are some other ideas to help you get some sleep.
In addition to the rest your body gets when you sleep, taking a day off in between workouts is a great idea when recovering from an injury.
This will allow your muscles to have a chance to repair and reduce strain on joints where the muscles have not recovered.
Rest is a crucial ingredient to any recovery plan.
You Won’t Gain with Pain
Many of the old sayings about toughness and dealing with injury were created by people that spent the twilight of their life hobbling around in pain.
Please don’t grin and bear it. If you are getting back into working out after an injury and are suffering, you should stop and call your doctor.
How to Get Back Into Working Out
Every injury is different, and every person will have a different solution for how to get back into working out.
By following the steps and advice in this article, you should be able to come up with your own process. Don’t be afraid to get back into the gym, on the court or into the water.
You just need to take your time and do it right.
Take a look around this website or more great health and fitness ideas.