Getting Back to Normal After an Injury
By Stephen R. Farris
If you've ever been out of commission for a long period of time due to injury, then you know how hard it can be to get back into the groove of everyday life. Depending on the severity of your injury, it may be hard to start working out again the way you once did. In some cases, you might even have to undergo physical therapy.
Whatever the case may be, the best advice is to start back slow. Trying to jump back in at the pace you were accustomed to could result in re-injuring yourself again, and that would put you further back in your goal of getting healthy and active again.
So here's a few pointers to get you started.
Should You Rest or Be Active?
In the past, most doctors wanted the patient to get some rest and take it easy after an injury. Very true to a certain extent, especially if you have broken bones. But if that's not the case, then -- after consulting with your physician or chiropractor -- a little light activity might be the key to getting you well faster.
What's In It for You?
Initializing an active recovery program can be beneficial in many ways.
- Less lactic acid buildup in muscles
- Eliminates toxins
- Keeps muscles flexible
- Reduction in soreness
- Increased blood flow
- Gets you closer to your normal exercise routine
Techniques to Try
How many times after a workout have you just felt like crashing to the floor in exhaustion, or sitting down for a while. Sure, it feels good for a little while, but that could cause a buildup of lactic acid and make you feel more achy for a short period of time. Back when I was trying to work out and lose weight in the early 1990s, I would walk five miles in the morning and afternoon. Halfway into my last lap I would take off in a sprint. The closer to my finish, I increased my pace. Once I was at my stopping point, I would break down to more of a casual walk for about half of a lap, then finish with some light stretching. I have to say there wasn't any soreness after doing this technique and I was able to keep my regimen going. Other techniques to try are circuit training, doing several additional activities incorporated with your normal workout session. On rest days, stretch out those muscles and do something light, such as yoga or tai chi, or take a casual walk.
If you have questions about what exercises to do after an injury, consult with your local chiropractor to hear what tips and suggestions they have to offer.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rockville, Md.