It is normal to find that once you have made changes to build regular exercise into your routine, to find yourself sleeping better, being more mindful and aware of the food you are eating and eating better, and generally feeling better all around. Then something happens. It may be an injury from something you have done, or even being involved in an accident and needing the assistance of injury lawyers.
It is fairly common that at some point within your exercising routine, something will happen, and it will halt your training.
Irrespective of how severe or extreme your injury was, or even how long your recovery time has been, it is of paramount importance to ensure that you are and have allowed your body the needed level of rest, to allow it to recover, before even considering getting back to training and in the gym.
Recovering from an injury doesn’t mean you won’t regain your strength and fitness. If you do it correctly, you can even regain and suppress your previous fitness level. This can only happen however if you do it correctly. If you push yourself too hard or too soon, you will slow down your progress and potentially incur further injuries.
So, how is this possible?
Here are some tips to help support getting you back into exercising again and back into your routine as quickly as possible, whilst avoiding further injury whilst you get fit and healthy once more.
Get The Medical ‘All Clear’
You have most likely been wishing to be able to get to your exercise throughout your whole recovery. Ironic really, as you probably really needed to motivate yourself before to do your exercise, but now you can’t, you’re itching to get back to it.
But, before you do, it is vital to remind yourself that when it is time to start exercising again and to rebuild your strength, you do this properly and safely.
Until all of the pain and swelling has gone and you have regained your movement, you can possibly start planning your return. If however, you are in pain, have swelling or find your injury stiff, it is unlikely to be the right time. These pains or aches are your body’s way of telling you that it still isn’t 100%. If you jump back into exercising too soon, you run the risk of making your injury worse and prolonging your recovery time.
When the time does come, and it will, and you’re ready to get back to exercising, double-check with your medical team to ensure that medically they support this decision.
Accept Your Fitness Will Have Changed
When you have time off exercising and working out. You will, and possibly already have, recognised that your health and fitness is not what it once was.
It is important to realize this before jumping back into any form of exercising. Not only will this help you manage your own personal expectations when you start back out, but it will also ensure that you don’t feel disheartened if you find yourself getting tired quicker, not being as flexible, being as strong or having the stamina you once had.
You will find that as you continue to start exercising your fitness will continue to increase and grow.
It Won’t Happen Overnight
As tempting as it might be, you cannot just pick up where you left off. Picking up and jumping back into your previous exercise pattern only puts you at risk of injuring yourself again.
Before starting your return to exercising, it is important to be realistic with the timescales attached to getting back your previous fitness level. The timescales for this will vary significantly from one person to another and will be based upon the type of injury that you sustained. Although generally speaking the longer the recovery time the longer it takes to get your fitness back to its peak.
It is also important to remember that all aspects of your fitness will have changed. You will need to start working those muscles, stretching them back out and preparing them for regular exercise going forward. You might need to focus on rebuilding the muscle mass or the flexibility back before you can really commence with your previous exercise routine.
Your body has already been through a lot. When getting back into working out not only will you start off gently but also do it gradually. You may once have worked out for hours five days a week, but you need to build yourself back up to level once more. Opting for shorter workouts can be a great way to positively allow you to still complete a workout and have that personal satisfaction without overdoing it and potentially causing yourself an injury.
Listen to Your Body
The likelihood is that you are probably quite in turn with your body currently and recognise it signs of pain.
It is important that when you are returning to exercise after a break that you do so with this same mentally of listening to your body. When your body hasn’t been as active as it once, you will find that your cardio and muscle strengths decrease. You can build them back but you need to do so in a way that your body can handle.
Listening to your body as you start reintroducing exercise into your routine is the key to making sure you don’t get injured again. If you find that your body is not coping with your planned exercise, change it. You may find making a complete change to lower impact exercise can help you start to rebuild your strength and stamina.
Gradually Build Your Strength Back
It can be frustrating as you currently are not as strong as you once were. But, remember when you first started out, you weren’t as strong then either and you built it up. A lot of different exercise programs use weights, from exercise classes to weight building. So, when the time arises to grab hold of the weights again, think light.
A common mistake people make when they return is they don’t go light enough. Although you may believe you could lift heavier, don’t opt for those. You haven’t used weights for a while, so start light whilst getting your muscles back to used to movement pattern. Even with light weights you will start to see and feel their effect.
This same logica applied to HIIT and other exercises as well. You need to give yourself and your body the time it needs to rebuild some of your strength and endurance back. When you start exercising again, it is important that you unduly push yourself beyond your current limits.
You may need to modify some of the exercises that previously you did whilst giving yourself the time to build yourself back up.
Don’t Focus On What You Cannot Currently Do
Whilst you are building your strength and stamina back up, it can be easy to dwell on what you are not able to do currently. Not only can this be demoralizing but it can stop you doing something you love.
Instead of looking at the negatives, try to focus on what you can do now. There will be plenty of other activities and muscles you can focus your attention on, that will overall enhance your fitness and exceed your previous peak level.
When starting back, it is important that you use your mental strength to focus on what you are able to do and build your body back up stronger than ever.