5 Tips for Working Out Around Injuries
Two weeks ago I tore my calf muscle getting back into running. I hate injuries! You probably do too. One thing I’ve learned through bodybuilding and running is that sometimes you just need to suck it up and let your body heal. You should never try to grit your way through and risk making the problem even worse. Check in with your doctor and once you get the clearance, here are some tips I learned to help get you back in the game. Here are five tips for working out around injuries.
#1 – Work Different Muscle Groups
I tore my right calf muscle, but my back, chest and arms are just fine. Look at this time as a chance for you to target areas you haven’t focused on in a while. My biggest fear when I’m injured is that I will lose all the muscles I’ve worked so hard to gain. By focusing on different areas you’ll know that at least you are still making progress in your fitness journey.
#2 – Fuel With Food
A common side effect of injuries is inflammation. There are some foods you can eat, even if you are confined to your couch, that will help with this. According to Harvard Health you should avoid refined carbohydrates (like bread and pasta), sugar (like soda), fried foods, red meat (like burgers) and processed foods (like hot dogs). Instead, eat foods like tomatoes, fatty fish (like salmon), nuts (like almonds and walnuts), green leafy vegetables (like spinach and kale) and fruits (like blueberries). These are good nutrition tips whether you’re injured or not.
#3 – Warm Up Before You Exercise
Full disclosure…I didn’t! Learn from my mistakes! Take five minutes to warm up your muscles before you do anything even remotely vigorous. By gradually raising your body temperature through walking followed in slow stretches you will help prepare your muscles for the oncoming workout.
#4 – Consider Physical Therapy
Sometimes your medical insurance will cover physical therapy. A physical therapist will be able to guide you through recovery stretches and make sure you maintain proper form. They often use resistance bands to help with the flexibility of your injured joint or muscle. Depending on your specific injury they will recommend ice, heat, compression and/or elevation. Keep in mind, the physical therapist will recommend exercises, but they only work if you do them! Be an active participant in your recovery.
#5 – Stay Positive
I’m writing this tip as much for myself as for anyone else. It’s a bummer when your mind wants to race and your leg wants to sit on the bench. This too shall pass. Maybe the universe is trying to teach you a lesson in patience. Do what you can, take it slow and steady, and remember that there are far worse things to complain about than a sports injury.
Hope that helps! Stay healthy.
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