Getting Back In The Game: How to Restart Your Exercise Routine After an InjuryAug 06, 2023
"I over did it exercising and injured myself. Now I want to get back in the game, but I don’t know where to start."
Exercise is a great thing for our bodies. It leaves us feeling strong, energetic, and even boosts our mood.
But when injury strikes it can be frustrating to lose the progress you’ve made and even more confusing on how to start back.
So here’s a few things to keep in mind as you pick back up on your fitness journey…
#1 Listen to Your Body: The Importance of Tuning In During Workouts
We all know the drive to push ourselves and achieve amazing results, but more here isn't better. In fact, overtraining and overdoing it can lead to re-injury and burnout. Yikes!
So, let's make a pact to listen to our bodies, shall we?
If you're experiencing pain during workouts, feeling overly sore for days, exhausted, or having trouble sleeping...
These are red flags that should NEVER ignore.
Your body is screaming, "Hey friend, slow it down PUH-lease!!!"
Our bodies are always talking to us, we need to listen
As you dive back into your workouts, take a moment to tune in.
How does your body feel during and after your workout?
Is the pain you're feeling a good kind of pain (muscle recovery) or a not-so-great kind (achy joints or nerve pain)?
By paying attention to these signs, you'll discover what's working for you and what isn't.
And remember, if something doesn't feel right, don't do it!
There are countless alternatives and ways to move your body in a way that will challenge you and feel good at the same time.
#2 Slow and Steady: The Power of Starting Small in Your Fitness Journey
Let's face it, jumping back into your workouts right where you left off is as tempting as that last slice of pizza.
Trust me, I know the struggle.
When I injured my back a few years ago, my enthusiasm got the better of me, and my body was like, "Hold up girlie!"
But here's the thing — instead of trying to outsmart our bodies, we should listen to them.
Tuning in and taking things slow is the secret to avoiding those dreaded re-injuries and feeling good (not like you've been hit by a truck) as you restart your fitness journey.
So, start with more basic moves, use lighter weights, or incorporate some walking or stretching. It's all about finding what works for you and building up from there.
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are our dream bodies.
So, let's put our ego aside, embrace the journey — and move at a pace that leaves us feeling empowered, not overexerted.
#3 Choose Consistency Over Sporadic Efforts
If you're a weekend warrior, squeezing in workouts sporadically, it's time to rethink your plan.
We've all been there — getting caught up in the hype of intense workouts, only to realize it's been days since our last sweat session.
But here's the thing: our bodies aren't too thrilled about this erratic behavior.
Picture this: you slip into your favorite pair of skinny jeans fresh out of the dryer and try to squat. Ouch! Your muscles feel as tight and stiff as those jeans, making them more prone to injury.
So, instead of going all-out once in a blue moon, let's focus on consistency.
Even if it means dedicating 15-20 minutes to a workout during the week or moving more throughout the day. By keeping our muscles active regularly, we ensure they stay flexible and injury-free.
And guess what? Consistent workouts, no matter how short, yield better results than sporadic "perfect" workouts.
So, let's ditch the weekend warrior mentality and embrace the power of showing up consistently.
Your body will thank you!
#4 Seek Balance: Embrace the Power of Balance in Your Workouts
Let's talk about one of the biggest culprits behind women getting injured and burning out: a lack of balance in their workouts and movement.
It's time to give your body the variety it craves while avoiding the pitfalls of excessive overexertion.
So rather than falling into the trap of sticking to one repetitive type of movement, like running or the same workout over and over again...
Cross-training is the secret ingredient to keep things fresh and prevent burnout.
This looks like adding in strength training, a variety of movements, and changing up your routines to work your body in new and different ways.
Now, let's also address the elephant in the room – the temptation to push ourselves too hard.
Trust me, you don't need to be a superhero and hit a workout six or seven days a week.
In fact, your body will thank you for scaling it back to a manageable three to four days — especially if you're new to fitness or making a comeback.
But here's the kicker: don't ignore the power of light movement.
Incorporating activities like walking, stretching, or going for a leisure bike ride are important too!
These activities help your body to recover faster. They promote blood flow, aid your metabolism, and allow your body to recharge.
That's why a well-rounded workout program is the Holy Grail.
It's not about doing more; it's about finding balance.
Just like devouring spinach alone won't make you the picture of health, solely focusing on one type of exercise won't do the trick.
We need a variety of movement to nurture our bodies and prevent overdoing it. This includes a variety of exercises that progress overtime. A sprinkle of light movement and flexibility too.
Let's find that sweet spot where strength, flexibility, and movement thrive.
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