If you work out regularly and maintain a constant fitness routine, it almost becomes inevitable that at some point you will get injured.
And whether it is a minor injury, like a slight sprain, or a serious injury like plantar fasciitis or a torn ACL, it can be really frustrating to be sidelined and not able to maintain your normal routine.
Don’t let this completely turn you off from working out though.
Here’s what you can do to stay fit while you are coping with an injury:
- Try non weight-bearing exercises – Switch up your routine to low impact, non-weight bearing exercises, such as seated weight lifting, swimming, yin yoga, or water aerobics. These exercises are still a great way to get a good workout, but the non-weight bearing aspect means they don’t put extra strain on the injury and allow your body to use its energy to recover as opposed to supporting you during training. For example, if you are a runner and have Achilles tendonitis, swimming is a great way to maintain your fitness, but doesn’t require you to put weight on your foot, allowing it to heal while you swim!
- Cross train – Treat your injury as a great chance to try cross training! Opt for a different type of exercise than what you usually do or are used to and mix things up. This is an especially great option if you catch the injury early before it is full blown and you just need a few days of rest to get back to normal. For example cycling is great for cross training from running, while using the stair climber is a great alternative to cycling. Listen to your body and ensure your new exercise of choice doesn’t aggravate the injury, and if not, train on!
- Practice yoga – Yoga can be a great rehabilitating exercise option for many injuries, given the stretching and gentle strengthening component of it. It is slower and less intense than other forms of exercise, allowing your body to stay in recovery mode as opposed to breaking down muscle where it needs to be in building and repairing mode. During an injury, you want as much of your energy and repairing abilities to be devoted to healing the injury, not having to be diverted to healing other areas from your tired muscles or overworked arms and legs. Yoga is a great way to make sure this doesn’t happen.
- Just walk –Unless you have an injury to your lower limbs, like your knee, leg, foot etc., you are likely still able to walk. Walking is a great form of exercise when you aren’t able to maintain your normal routine! Because it is low impact, injuries such as a broken arm or injured shoulder won’t be affected, and the fact that it requires nothing other than sneakers means you can do it anywhere and not have to rely on a special piece of equipment or gum membership to let you carry on. It may seem trivial if you are an injured runner or cyclist, but something is better than nothing, and at the very least, it will keep you active!