Returning to an active lifestyle after an injury can be done in a pain-free, low-risk way. Being sidelined due to pain and injuries doesn't mean you have to stay sidelined.
It is always recommended to rest through injuries in addition to following the right kind of professional advice. But we all like to return back to our active lives as soon as we can.
So, how should you go about getting back to active after sustaining an injury? Here are seven simple steps to accomplishing that goal.
1. Get your clearance from your doctor
Consulting with our medical professional about the state of your injury is crucial before jumping back into any kind of activity. Identify what your limitations are and ask your doctor about what you can and cannot do in your available strength, range of motion, and flexibility range.
Paramedical practitioners such as chiropractors and physiotherapists can also be very helpful in letting you know what you can / cannot and should / should not do post-injury.
2. Do what you can
Give yourself the time to fully heal before jumping back in. But, if you must stay active, choosing pain-free movements and exercises is a great way to maintain strength and activity levels. Doing something is better than doing nothing, as long as that something doesn't set you back!
3. Manage Your Performance Expectations
It is a common tendency to assume you can lift, play and train the way you used to as soon as your injury is "healed". This is often a false assumption. Although you might be healed, your injured state most likely deconditioned you from the kind of activity and output you once had. When you get back into training, exercising, and playing after an injury, "easy does it" is a great policy to adopt.
4. Consider alternatives to traditional exercises
Your favourite exercise or movement might not be available to you as part of your injury. Speak to an Exercise Professional about choosing alternative exercise strategies that aim at your desired results. Gradually, you will build your abilities to potentially return your favourite workouts, with the added bonus of some more diversified exercise options.
5. Watch your diet and protein intake.
Recovering from injury requires the right tuning of exercise and nutrition. Consult professionals on how nutrition can help you improve your recovery process.
6. Monitor your pain levels
While getting active and exercising again after an injury, be physically aware of any pain, stiffness and soreness. Develop a feel for what is simply sore and what actually hurts. This can be hard to decipher, so consult with a professional to make sure you are on the right course.
7. Aim for high-quality movement
Instead of doing the same movements you used to before your injury at the same speed, do it at a slower speed but with pristine technique and control. Sprained your ankle? Instead of running on it, try regular walking but with good form and without a limp. Even if you have to walk slower and a shorter distance, hiqh-quality form executed slower will help distribute loads the way that your body can handle with minimal risks of reinjury.
For professional guidance and tips to recover from ongoing pain or a sustained injury, choose from our team of certified exercise professionals and take the guesswork out of getting active again!