Start a telemedicine call with
Dr. Orthopaedics

How to Stay Fit Following an Injury

Recovering from surgery, an accident, or a sports injury can leave you frustrated. After all, feeling like you’re losing fitness ground can be discouraging. While you’ll need to take some time off to rest, it is also important to maintain basic fitness for both mental and physical health.

After you’ve gone through an injury, it’s a safe idea to speak to your doctor or sports medicine physician before exercising. These professionals can give you the best recommendations on the type of exercises you can do and when to start them. To get a better idea of how to stay fit during injury recovery, the providers at Valley Orthopaedic Specialists have compiled the following strategies.

Foot and Ankle Injuries

If you have dealt with a foot or ankle injury, it can take a bit of time to get back on your feet. However, you can still perform exercises during the recovery period to help you stay in shape. Swimming, stationary bikes, or rowing machines are great options to start with as they don’t put too much strain on your problem areas.

You can also work with your trainer or physician to find additional non-weight bearing cardio exercises. Spending just 30 to 60 minutes three times a week to maintain your cardio endurance will make a big difference in how well you train post-injury. Also, taking part in circuit training that strengthens your muscles helps so you don’t lose muscle mass during rehabilitation.

Lower Back Injuries

Staying fit after a lower back injury may be challenging. It’s critical to talk to your physician about any exercise limitations you have before you begin again. Some of the best training for lower back injury recovery include recumbent cycling, swimming, and walking. Circuit workouts that include overhead presses, wall sits, lat pulldowns, and leg extensions may also be helpful as long as your doctor approves.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries can be tough to bounce back from because many cardio exercises involve your knee joint’s extension and flexion. Some potential movements to incorporate into your recovery periods include using a handcycle or one-legged stationary bike. You still can work on maintaining your muscles with exercises like chest presses, pull-ups, overhead presses, and lat pulldowns because they avoid using your knees.

Shoulder Injuries

It’s relatively easy to maintain your cardio fitness during shoulder injury recovery since traditional cardio exercises use the lower body. Stair climbing and walking make great endurance options. Focusing on strengthening exercises that work core muscles and lower body such as leg presses, ab crunches, and walking lunges can all help you keep muscle mass, too.

Additional Tips

A few extra recommendations you can use to stay fit during injury recovery include:

  • Don’t stay in one place. Even if you feel frustrated that you can’t partake in your favorite exercises, make sure you’re not staying sedentary. Find ways to stay as active as possible.
  • Avoid overdoing it. Talk to a medical professional about how much you should be doing so you don’t return to activity too quickly.
  • Incorporate good nutrition. Nourishment should be your main focus as you are not exercising as much as you used to. Continue eating whole foods that fuel your body and aid in faster healing.

Stay Fit After an Injury with Valley Orthopaedic Specialists

An injury can put a halt in your fitness regimen, but you can take measures to shorten recovery time and stay in shape. At Valley Orthopaedic Specialists, we offer advanced patient-specific treatment options to identify what hurts and recommend how to get you back in your regular workout routine. If you’ve sustained an injury or are looking for assistance maintaining your fitness level and expediting your recovery, request an appointment today.