Coming back to your fitness routine after a serious injury is as delicate a process as metamorphosis. If you rush to the gym and push yourself too far, it could cause permanent damage to your body.
On the bright side, this return may be a gradual process. You would feel limited than when you were last in your training, but you are guaranteed to get there if you keep focused. Also, you don’t have to give up on your fitness altogether if you take it nice and slow. In fact, you will bounce right back as if it never happened.
A physical injury can be the ultimate nightmare for anyone especially athletes who are more prone to them. Injuries could result in losing your time at the gym, having to sit out games and feeling useless and defeated.
Believe it or not, you are not the only one thinking these thoughts and it is normal for people to experience this post-injury. However, the achievements of overcoming these feelings and moving ahead towards recovery can motivate you to beat every challenge and gain hundred percent recovery.
You would be surprised how your injury could end up being the best thing that happens to you for your personal growth. Athletes and other people have been seen to come out of these complications much stronger mentally and physically than before.
Seek Diagnosis :
Being hurt and injured are not the same thing. You need not play down your injury to ‘man up’ and just ‘walk it off’. Understand the difference between soreness and pain. When you feel the pain, get it checked.
Understand the Severity :
Make sure you understand the seriousness of your injury and be well-informed. You should also know what caused the injury in the first place. This will be crucial for your rehab plan to keep yourself from further injury. Also, being aware can help heal you mentally as after physical injury your confidence level can be hugely impacted.
Be well-informed :
Foremost, learn everything there is to know about your injury and effects your body has experienced because of it. There are so many sources for you to get all the information you need about different physical injuries and see models and simulations in 3D of the effects of the injuries.
Be Patient with Yourself :
The first few days are always the hardest after the return. You may have had to put some time off from your training after your injury and might even suffer financially due to sitting idle because of it. It could take you some time to warm up and get back in the pace so the first thing to keep in mind is that you will be disappointed and even borderline depressed when you return to your training.
Always remain patient and persevere calmly. Remind yourself that this is all temporary. Your spirits may be high but your body is still recovering so you may feel limited and not yourself.
Be mindful of the injury :
Never negate the effects of your Injury or undermine it. Carelessness can set you back a few steps and can even cause permanent damage. Acknowledge and accept the reasons you had to take time off because of the injury.
Let go of what has already been lost during that time and only look ahead. Treat your injury as sacredly as your own body. Make sure it is okay with your physiotherapist or your consultant for you to restart your training.
Get Professional Approval :
Another way of knowing about the injury and its severity is asking your doctor. No two injuries are the same. You may get a general insight of an injury such as shoulder dislocation online but you would never receive a custom report on your own injury from there. You need to ask your doctor and trust him or her. Their informed opinion is as personalized as it gets for your specific injury based on your own lab reports and history.
Make sure your doctor knows you plan on returning to your training and ask for their permission. They know what is best for you because no one-not even you- understand the status of your injury as well as them. You should pay attention to their advice regardless of what others want you to do. Do not fall for peer pressure or your own feelings.
Honor the Transitional Period :
Test out the water before diving in.
Once you receive the get-go from your doctor and therapist, ease into your training. It is best to keep a personal fitness trainer by your side during this period.
According to experts, the period is or should be as long as the time you lost holding back due to your injury. So 4 months of lost time would mean 4 months of a transitional period. During this time, you need to avoid going back to your pre-injury fitness regimen.
Slow and Steady :
The greatest mistake people make is pushing their bodies too far wanting to get back to their normal routine almost immediately. What the mind makes you believe and what your recovering body can endure during the transitional period are poles apart.
A surge of adrenaline rush after a workout drought may even lead your body to feel as if it is healthy but on the contrary, the reality couldn’t be any further. This initial rush has ended up so many athletes and trainers back on their beds-sometimes permanently. Remember the big picture and stay patient. This may take a couple of weeks.
10 Percent Rule :
To ensure a hundred percent recovery, gradually increase the training- about 10 percent training every week (according to your original training). Halve your pace from what it was pre-injury and get up to a hundred percent based on the 10 percent rule. It is imperative you increase the training gradually.
Seek professional aid :
Your doctor, physical therapist, a personal fitness trainer or a kinesiologist all need to be in on your condition. Ask them questions and answer theirs sincerely. It is important for you to be 100 hundred percent transparent with them for your own good.
Consult your doctor to concoct a rehab program that incorporates exercise. Bad movement or muscle imbalances can also be taken care of and prevented with the help of your physical therapist or personal fitness trainer.
The good news is that the American Telemedicine Association supports the use of technology in physical therapy, nutrition advice, smoking cessation in addition to other clinical services.
Nutritional Care :
Keep your body fueled and hydrated with high energy and nutrient packed food during your recovery and return. Ask your doctor to prescribe supplements (like glutamine or chondroitin) to heal your joints, muscles, and bones faster. Avoid alcohol, white flour or sugar.
Keep going with the prescribed plan to build and stabilize your strength, core, and flexibility even after you start feeling better. You can use a foam roller to warm up your wounded muscles.
Voice out the Pain :
Never downplay or ignore pain. Stay alert to any specific exercises or movements that cause you moderate to intense pain in the injured area. After an injury, you need to be very careful during training.
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