It’s your worst nightmare: just when you’re seeing results, getting stronger or running faster – and Bam! You get injured. You’re out of action and need to rest and recuperate. Injury can feel like the end of the world and makes it seem like all your hard work wasn’t worth anything and that your progress is lost. It can also be frustrating feeling like you can’t unwind and de-stress with that sweet hit of post-workout endorphins…because well, you can’t workout! While it’s important to take some time to rest and recover an injury (“pushing through it” will only make it worse) there are also lots of ways to keep yourself active and to stay motivated. Here are our 5 Ways to Keep Active while Injured.
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again – not only is stretching great for feeling rejuvenated, connected and energised, it’s also great for your body during and post-injury. If your muscles are more supple and flexible, they’re way less likely to get injured in the first place than if they’re tight. So, gently stretching out an injury is a great way to get some mild exercise in, while preventing possible future injuries. (Of course, avoid overly or extreme stretching out of the injured body part.)
Swimming isn’t only an amazing aerobic workout, it’s also a low-impact one. It’s great for any injuries that necessitate reducing high impact sports like running or HIIT training, while keeping your heart healthy. It’s also adaptable. If your injury is in your lower body, find a kick board and hold it between your legs, so you’re only using your arms. If your upper body is the problem, do the opposite – grab the board and kick your legs without moving your arms.
This one’s a no-brainer if you’re having to avoid impact sports and don’t have access to a pool (or just hate swimming). Cross training is another low-impact form of cardio that will get your heart rate up without worsening your injury.
While this might sound counter-intuitive, it depends where your injury is. If you have a lower body injury, there’s nothing stopping you from doing some seated upper-body exercises. The same goes for any injuries in your upper body – lots of leg exercises are on the cards. Get creative and find some that work for you and work around your injury.
Good old-fashioned walking – it isn’t complicated, and it doesn’t have to be. Walking has a huge number of benefits, is pleasant and incredibly low-impact, meaning it won’t put your body under unnecessary strain. It’s also a great way to explore your local area and get outdoors.