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  • Making a Comeback
    Your workouts were going so well and you were finally getting in shape. You know exercise is vital for good health and you’re eager to get back into your workout routine, but you’ve got to be careful not to reinjure or hinder complete healing. Before jumping back into exercise, take the following advice to heart. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Making a Comeback

You just got injured. Better adjust your workouts.

There’s nothing like an illness or injury to put you on the sidelines. Your workouts were going so well and you were finally getting in shape. Whether you suffered a sprain, a torn muscle, fracture, concussion, or a lengthy illness, you’ve been temporarily knocked out of the game. While minor injuries or illnesses take a few days or weeks to heal, major injuries or illnesses can take months or even years. You know exercise is vital for good health and you’re eager to get back into your workout routine, but you’ve got to be careful not to reinjure or hinder complete healing.

Before jumping back into exercise, take the following advice to heart.

Take It Easy

Any fitness expert will tell you the best advice is to ease slowly back into a workout routine. While sick or injured, you likely sat around a lot and lost some strength and stamina. It’ll take time to get back into shape. And that’s okay. For some people, this may mean physical therapy to rebuild muscle strength, for others it’ll mean walking or swimming for a few weeks until you can return to running workouts.

“The most frustrating thing about injuries is that they take so long to heal. - Jason Statham

Change Expectations

Don’t expect to be able to jump back into exercise at the same fitness level you were before. Doing too much too soon after a recent illness or injury is a bad idea. You may have been able to bench press 160 pounds before, but it will take time to be able to lift that much again. Give it time and you’ll be just as strong and fit as before. A good place to start is at 50 percent of where you were and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts by 10 to 15 percent each week, depending on how you’re feeling.

Follow Doctor’s Orders

Before returning to exercise, be sure to get your doctor’s permission. You may feel strong enough, but your doctor knows best. Always wait to start exercising until the pain, stiffness, and swelling are completely gone.
A physical therapist or sports medicine professional can identify muscle imbalances or weaknesses, which are the cause of many sports injuries. They can then teach you specific exercises with step-by-step instructions for stretching and strengthening your trouble spots before getting back on the court or field.

Cross-Train

Before your time out you may have been in the weight room or on the soccer field every day, but after an injury it’s important to cross-train. By doing a variety of different workouts, you’re able to strengthen new muscles and get back in shape. For example, it’s important for a tennis player with a shoulder injury to regain their strength, but starting with overhand serves isn’t the way to go. Avoid reinjury by focusing on exercises that work other muscle groups for a while.

Pay Attention to Your Body

Only you know what your body is telling you. Your doctor may recommend a six-week break, but if you’re still in pain it’s better to wait longer. When you do start back into your workouts, listen to your body, especially the part that suffered injury. Despite what your high school coach told you, never push through pain. No pain, no gain is a lie. A little discomfort may be expected, but never pain. If you’re in pain following a workout, you likely overdid it. Take a day or two to rest before trying again at a less-intense level.