Experts’ advice on fitness and workout during the injury recovery period
Getting back to work or sports following an injury? Here are some exercise tips by health experts on fitness and workout during the injury recovery period
Among fitness enthusiasts, injuries are very common and as much as they avoid getting hurt, it can happen to anyone. In case of an injury, rest days are as majorly important as workout days in fact, an ideal fitness regime is not completed without rest days.
Athletes who are injured, often get worried about losing their fitness regime during time away from training but it is possible to keep up with an exercise routine while recovering from an injury. When an athlete is physically injured, a recovery regime is recommended as per the condition or level of injury.
Considering the seriousness and position of the injury, medical professionals will regulate whether one needs instant treatment or not. Before maintaining or starting a workout plan, consult a healthcare practitioner to make sure that the injury is diagnosed and treated well.
Getting back to work or sports following an injury is the focus of any treatment and is tailored by the treating surgeon to the individual's needs after his detailed assessment. Injuries can range from a simple ligament sprain to complex ligament tears, bony fractures managed conservatively or surgically.
The circumstances of not being able to workout and stay fit due to a sudden injury are common. However, taking rest doesn’t mean that one has to stop concentrating on workouts, there are plenty of impactful ways to maintain one’s fitness during recovery period.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Abhishek Chatterjee, CPT ACSM, General Manager at SWITCH Wellness, advised, “During an injury, one may have plenty of thoughts in their mind which makes them try some creative and flexible exercises. Even if one body part is injured, there are usually other ways to stay fit and recover by using the principles of cross-training. When one is injured, it does not necessarily mean that all fitness gains are lost. One can modify their fitness regime with an alternative. However, remembering the importance of rest time to heal an injury is crucial.”
He highlighted, “Some alternative exercises that can be taken up during injury recovery period are as follows: swimming and pool workouts, walking, stretching, mild Yoga, balancing exercises, these will keep the muscles active and will also refresh the body. Also, always remember no injury is major or minor, it entirely depends upon how it is perceived and taken care of. The key is to maintain the right attitude, remain active, and stay positive.”
Asserting that a comeback plan should always include progressive rather than jumping aggressively in full force as it can worsen the injury or take longer to heal, Dr Paneendra Sudarshan, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Bangalore's Apollo Spectra Hospital, suggested:
1) Start slow. Return to the training once the pain, swelling, and stiffness have improved and settled down.
2) Always get your treating surgeon's consent before starting sport's specific or advanced training.
3) Ask your physical therapist to train your muscles to strengthen and stretch the injured region.
4) Know your body and injury well before pushing to the limits. Every individual body responds differently and the time taken to heal varies.
5) Stay positive. Mental preparation is equally important to regain strength and speed. Believe that recovery is possible.
6) Start with low impact activities and workout other body regions to prevent injuries.
7) Body doesn't lie. Always pay close attention to your body and how it responds. Pain or discomfort following an exercise needs to settle down with rest. If it doesn't, better to lower the intensity and repetitions.
8) Finally, the road to recovery is possible and the best way to achieve it is with progressive and supervised training.