When suffering from physical injury consider alternative forms of activity to maintain physical fitness.
For active people wishing to maintain a high level of physical fitness, injury is always a setback. No one wants to be inflicted with injury but Murphy’s Law usually prevails. Injuries always occur at the worst possible time.
However, this should not necessarily spell disaster for those preparing for an event or for those simply wishing to remain active and fit. No matter your age or physical ability, there are many ways you can maintain fitness during the recovery period.
Swimming: For those suffering lower body or feet and leg injuries, swimming can be an excellent form of recovery activity. Check with your doctor or physiotherapist first, but swimming gives an excellent form of whole body workout without placing stress on feet and legs. Swimming provides a cardio workout as well as toning body muscles when activities involving running, walking, kicking and other lower body activities are not advisable.
Stationary Bike: The stationary bike is another way of continuing with cardio fitness when low impact exercise is required. Injured legs or feet can be kept moving in order to minimize loss of muscle performance without stressing the healing muscles. As with swimming though, it is important have the go ahead from your doctor or physiotherapist.
Flexibility Exercises: It is important to keep muscles moving during the recovery period. Gentle exercise prevents the muscles seizing up, therefore reducing stress during the recovery period. When injury occurs to only one part of the body, it’s possible to keep working other parts. Regular participation in low impact flexibility exercises enables the healing parts to return to full strength and full exercise in a gradual way. As with the activities above, check with your doctor or physiotherapist first that whatever flexibility programme you’re considering is safe and will aid your recovery programme.
It is sometimes tempting to return to full activity as soon as the body seems to be coping with its former level of movement. This can be misleading. If you have been prescribed a certain period of rest, or an allocated number of physiotherapist sessions, make sure you adhere to these guidelines. It is better to spend a little more time than you think you need for recovery, than to return to full activity too soon which sometimes results in additional muscles damage being done.
Injury does not need to result in stress and frustration. Use the time wisely and enjoy the opportunity to participate in alternative and enjoyable activities to maintain your fitness level.