Getting back to an active & healthy lifestyle after experiencing an injury can be tough, especially if the injury occurred due to exercise itself. Many thoughts can run through your head… “This hurt me once before, I shouldn’t do it again,” “Maybe exercise is bad for me,” “If I exercise, I will injure myself,” etc. This is what we call fear-avoidance behaviors and they can be difficult to overcome, but with these four tips, it’s possible!
1. Start slow – this is especially important if you took the time to rest after the initial injury. Giving your injury some time to rest and heal is important, but you will also lose some strength and endurance during that period. When returning to activity, take it day-by-day. Don’t jump back into your full blown workout routine. Decrease the intensity & frequency until your body has adequate time to adapt.
2. Listen to your body – this ties right in with the previous tip. Only you can understand and interpret what your body is trying to tell you. Be in tune with yourself and don’t be stubborn. If you are experiencing significant soreness, fatigue and/or pain, let your body rest for a longer period of time in between workouts.
3. Seek advice – if you are unsure if you should exercise again, seek advice from a professional, a physical therapist for example! Not only can they help you understand what the injury is, how it happened & how to prevent it, they can also determine whether it is safe to exercise again. That could be as easy as giving you the “green light” without any restrictions, or giving you an idea of what you should/shouldn’t do.
4. Know how to prevent – this might seem like an “after the fact” thought, but understanding how to prevent a future injury from occurring can ease your mind. If you know how the injury occurred, you can take the proper steps to decrease the likelihood of it happening again. This can include a proper warm-up, proper cool-down, understanding proper progression & form, etc.
Fight those fears away and get back to living the healthy & active lifestyle you want with these 4 tips!
As always, we hope this helps! If you have any questions or if you would like to read about certain topics, feel free to send us an email at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com.
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