Even the most experienced sports person experiences an injury from time to time—whether it is a minor injury such as a pulled muscle or something a little more severe such as a broken bone. While this can be incredibly frustrating and demotivating, it is important that you don’t let it turn you away from exercise altogether. However, this doesn’t mean that you should take a few days off before jumping back into a high-intensity program. Instead, you need to plan a careful and calculated return back into fitness, which helps keep you safe and allows you to achieve your goals in no time at all.
Let’s look at how you can do this without putting your body under undue stress, slowing down your recover or worse still injuring yourself further.
Step #1 Self Diagnoses
If you’re in pain or feel discomfort when you’re exercising, then find the source of the problem. Don’t continue to push yourself. Instead, stop working out and try to self-diagnose your injury.
Step #2 Seek medical attention
If you cannot work out why you’re hurting, then stop working out and seek out immediate medical attention. Don’t try to downplay your injury—as this will not allow your body to heal properly and it could lead to serious health problems further down the line. Seeking medical attention is even more important if you have chest or head pain, laboured breathing or have banged or knocked your head, had a fall or have noticed unusual bruising or any other unexplainable marking on your body.
Step # 3 Rest
To let your body heal from injury, you need to give it a break. And while this can be frustrating, especially if you need to take a prolonged break from your workout routine, it’s crucial that you don’t rush the process of getting back into exercising. Also, consult a professional—your doctor, personal trainer or physiotherapist—to figure out exactly how much time off you need. Follow their advice and remember, a lack of pain is not always a sign that an injury is fully healed.
Step # 4 Take care of your body
Another way you can help yourself bounce back from an injury is by taking extra steps to care for your body. This could include the ‘basics,’ such as drinking more water and following a healthy diet, but it could also include working with licensed professionals to deal with any long-term issues. For example, if you received an injury to your foot, heel, or ankle, you might want to work with a podiatrist. If you aren’t sure of where to start, try searching ‘podiatrist in my area’ to find a local and reputable company to work alongside.
Step # 5 Boost your confidence
Sometimes, an injury can have a highly negative impact on your confidence—which can make returning to exercise incredibly difficult. Therefore, you should work on ways to get your mojo back ahead of time—so that you can get on with your training without the fear of a recurrence of injury.
Step # 6 Reintroduce exercise slowly
Also to old adage says, “Only fools rush in.” So, take your time and gently easy back into exercise. Plan how you’ll rebuild your strength to get your fitness back to where you were before you sustained an injury. And don’t think you can just start where you left off. Your body would have lost condition while you’ve been resting, even if it’s only for a few days. Instead, start with small, low-intensity workouts and build up the intensity over time. For example, there are plenty of ways in which you could make walking a workout.
Taking your time to rebuild your body after an injury isn’t easy. It take patience, determination and perseverance. But, you’ll be thankful that you took these steps, and it’s likely that you’ll also build a bigger and better version of yourself.
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