Whether you’re dealing with a minor injury or one that requires surgery, a fast recovery is probably your priority. And, if you’ve been working out for a while, the activity withdrawal is real – and probably causing a lot of anxiety.
What type and how much exercise you can do is going to depend on your injury. The fact is that recovery depends heavily on many factors including the severity of injury, the location of the injury, the level of fitness someone had before the injury, and of course the attitude of the individual, low impact exercise sessions doing activities such as walking or swimming, or cycling can keep up your fitness level while you’re recovering.
Again, what you can do depends on the where and how badly you’re injured. Those low impact exercises are going to get you moving, without beating up your body. As tempting as it can be to rush through the recovery process, trust me the temptation is bad, patience is your best bet. Let your body heal completely before you push yourself. From personal experience over the last two or three months, this can be difficult but it is so worth it in the end!
Effective Exercise Options While You Recover
Maintaining your cardio fitness while nursing an injury can get a little tricky, but it’s not impossible. Here are some exercises you can try, depending on your injury: Weight Lifting and/or Kettle Bells What? Weights? I know you’re thinking this is supposed to about cardio, and it is. Lifting weights is a two-for: you can get in a cardiovascular workout and get stronger at the same time. If you’re using proper technique, you should be able to burn some calories while keeping things relatively low impact.
Obviously if you’ve got a back injury, kettlebells may not be the way to go. Again, it all depends on your limitations and your injuries. It is possible to put together a short circuit with high repetitions, low weight, and short rest periods for a more cardiovascular result. The great thing is that it can be adapted to the type of injury. If there is an upper body injury, a lower body circuit would work and vice versa.
Similar to kettle bells or weight lifting, resistance bands work both your cardio and muscle fitness. This is probably the cheapest and easiest workout option (recovery or not). You don’t even have to go to a gym.
Swimming is a difficult yet low impact workout. Most likely, if you swim consistently throughout recovery, your cardio fitness level will be better than when you first started. Swimming requires a whole-body effort, making it a good challenge for those of you that usually run or bike. If you can’t stand swimming, you can try running in water or water weights.
Cycling is great for overcoming irritating injuries. It’s low impact and easy to tailor to your fitness level.
If you aren’t ready for the more intense exercises, If you can, start off your recovery process with some nice walks. I think it is one of the best ways to stay moving and keep cardio levels up, As you start feeling stronger, lengthen or speed up your walks, and then you can graduate to a harder exercise.
Your Mental Strength Matters
Your attitude towards recovery is everything. Getting frustrated is normal, but don’t let the setback get you down. Staying positive is one of the best things you can do while your body heals.