There is nothing worse than finally finding your fitness mojo and sustaining an injury that stops you in your tracks. Is it possible to stay fit with an injury? Of course it is! You just have to be inventive, and open to trying a few different things.
Here are 7 ways to stay fit (and look after yourself) with an injury:
Listen to your body
An injury is your body’s way of reminding you to slow down, so pay attention! If your injury is too painful or severe to allow exercise then the first thing you must do is rest. Take some time out and if your injury allows try some gentle stretching or restorative yoga to stop muscles from seizing up and keep you mobile. It might be advisable to begin your recovery with a Physio session to allow an expert to asses your damage and advise the sort of exercises you could try.
Consider input as well as output
Whether you are exercising or not it is important to be mindful of what you put into your body, as well as the energy you exert. Staying hydrated will help your body flush out toxins so aim to drink at least 2-3 litres of water every day [Top tip: Treat yourself to a water bottle with a measurement scale to help you keep track of what you are drinking]
“My best advice is regardless of what programme or regime you’re on, to drink plenty of water everyday especially as you wake up and before you go to bed. Hydration is paramount”
Bianca Walkden, Olympics bronze medal holder and gold World Championship holder for Taekwondo. [Source: Harpers Bazaar]
Hit the water
Depending on your injury, swimming is a low-impact activity that still offers a full body workout. You can also use aids in the pool to reduce extra strain such as kickboards or floats. If lane swimming isn’t your thing why not try a gentle water aerobics class? Speak to the instructor beforehand and advise them of your injury so they can help you join in without making the damage worse.
Build yourself back up
You can’t expect to spring back off the sofa ready for a 10k run, you need to build yourself back up to full fitness – this might take days, weeks or even months, but to avoid a repeat injury you must take things slowly. Interval training is a great way to start, which involves walking, jogging and running in short segments. Alternatively, try the NHS Couch to 5K programme to help you find your way back to full fitness.
Avoid High Intensity Training (HIT) and High Impact Workouts
After an injury your body needs care and attention! Just because you feel mentally ready does not mean that your body can handle high impact workouts and repetitive sets of intense activity. There are plenty of other activities that can help you get your heart rate up – brisk walking, cycling and aerobics or dance style classes are all great exercises that won’t put too much stress on your poor body.
Get some muscle therapy
Your injury can be eased with some relaxing, holistic treatment such as a sports massage. A trained sports masseuse will know how to ease your tighten and torn muscles to help get you back into shape. We also recommend TENS therapy using a machine from the Kinetik Wellbeing Pain Relief Range.
TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a safe, drug-free method of pain management which delivers small painless electrical pulses via electrodes placed on your skin and blocks the way that pain signals are sent to the brain. TENS pain relief stimulates your body to produce more of its own pain relieving chemicals called endorphins and therefore reduce pain. Read our blog: Which Kinetik Pain Reliever is best for you?
Prevent it happening again
Before your fly off into the sunset take time to assess the reason why you sustained your injury in the first place. This will help to prevent any relapses or further problems.
Things to consider are;
– Stretching (Before and After your workout)
– Wearing the right gear (Correct training shoes, muscle supports and clothing)
– Stay hydrated and well-nourished
– Be careful where you train (Beware of undulating ground and pavements)
– Listen to your body (We said it before and we will say it again, always be mindful of what your body is telling you).
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Watch our video on TENS Pain Relief: