When you have an injury, it may seem like all of your fitness goals and the hard work you already put in are gone. After all, the doctor told you “take it easy” and stop the activity that got you injured in the first place for a while. Don’t lose faith!
There are plenty of ways to stay in shape while nursing your body back to health — with approval from your doctor first, of course. Continuing to strengthen and stretch will also help prevent injury in the future.
Low-impact workouts — such as swimming, barre workouts and Pilates — are effective, full-body strength-building exercises that will raise your heart rate and tone you up. Other low-impact cardio workouts you can try (depending on where your injury is) include cycling, walking and the elliptical machine at the gym.
Focus on working out specific areas of your body, especially ones you rarely paid attention to before you were injured. If you usually go biking but hurt your knee, focus on your core with static floor exercises like crunches and sit-ups, and planks. Bad back? There are alternatives to crunches and sit-ups.
Injuries force us to slow down. This is a good time to improve your flexibility with a good stretch routine or yoga flow. Tai Chi can do wonders for stress relief, as well as improvement in coordination, balance, strength and flexibility.
Once your doctor gives you the OK to resume your normal activity, be sure to include functional training into your fitness routine to help avoid another injury in the future.