Exercise Through Injury
Exercise, exercise, exercise. I know I sound like a broken record, but in the last 10 days I’ve come to realize just how critical exercise is, especially after an injury.
Ten days ago, I took a tumble off my bike that resulted in several bruises plus some bruised ribs. The first three days I did almost no movement. By the fourth day, I knew I needed to do something, but movement caused pain, and I resisted. The reality was, even though there are definite limitations with bruised ribs, there are forms of movement that can be done. And once I started moving, I felt better and started to heal faster.
Exercise While Injured
Rebecca J. Clark, author of The Checklist Diet, and a trainer, said, “Exercising while injured—that’s my life, LOL.”
Generally injuries are just one small piece of your body. You have many other body parts you can still exercise, Rebecca said, and she used this example.
“A few years ago I was sidelined with tarsal tunnel (like carpal tunnel syndrome, but through the foot and ankle). I had to give up teaching Zumba for 8 weeks, and anything that involved being on my feet or even using my feet (no biking or swimming either). I could still train people, but I had to sit as much as possible. I could still teach yoga and demonstrate positions, but couldn’t do any standing poses. What could I do? Well, I could lift weights with my upper body. I could ride the recumbent bike for 5 minutes at a time (that’s as long as I could go without pain). I could work my core. I could work my legs in all ways that didn’t involve my feet,” Rebecca said.
Rebecca’s suggestions inspired me to think in terms of what can I do, and I could walk with almost no discomfort. I could do water aerobics, but not actual swimming. I could lift light weights. As the week progressed, I was able to do more, like swinging my arms while I walked and using my arms when I swam. There are still things I can’t do, but that is improving every day, and pain has been greatly reduced.
Rebecca had a client recently who had shoulder replacement, and she told her doctor, “Well, I guess that gets me out of working out with Rebecca for a while.” The doctor shook his head and said, “I want you back with her next week. You have the other 90% of your body you can still workout.”
The moral of the story, Rebecca said is, there is ALWAYS something you can do. “If you don’t know how to modify, hire a trainer for a session or two or ask your physical therapist. The more blood you get flowing to the rest of your body, the quicker the injury will heal.”
I can attest this is true. Finding ways to be active while injured isn’t fun or easy, but it is definitely worth it for a speedier recovery.
Have you been struggling with an injury? What ways have you found to stay active?