No matter how careful you are or how many precautions you take, accidents happen to everyone.
A sprained ankle, a pulled muscle, or a broken bone may seem like something that will bring your workout to a screeching halt, but there are ways to continue your training momentum while recovering from an injury. Be sure to check with your physician before starting or continuing ANY exercise program while injured.
If you completely stop all working out during an injury, you can become deconditioned. This simply means that your muscles are losing strength and your body is losing flexibility and balance. The good news is that a fit person recovers faster from physical injury than someone who is out of shape, and maintaining some form of activity during recovery can make things even easier.
So how do you work out while hurt? The most important thing to remember is not to overdo it. Pushing yourself too hard could worsen the injury or cause undue stress on your body. Try to exercise at least 2-3 times per week, but at a lower intensity than you are accustomed to. This is a great time to incorporate some cross-training into your routine! If you have a leg injury, concentrate on working your upper body and abdominals. Any exercises that are done while seated will work, and circuit training is also a great way to lift weights safely. If your upper body is injured, find ways to work your lower body, such as riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill.
Many other forms of exercise can be modified to suit your needs when you aren’t at your full capacity. Yoga can help you maintain your flexibility and reduce stress.
There are a few things to keep in mind: If you start hurting, especially in the injured area, STOP. Consult your doctor if you experience any new redness, swelling, or lightheadedness. And, most of all, don’t be hard on yourself! Even though you can’t push it to the limits the way you want to, you are doing what you can to maintain the progress from all your hard work!