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Injuries, especially in sports, happen a lot. When a person is injured, it’s up to them to stay on top of their health and ensure that they do not let their injury cause muscle loss or weight gain. It's easier to recover from an injury when you’re healthy.
But one thing that a lot of people do is neglect their fitness.
This is a bad idea.
When you’re injured, there’s almost always a way to exercise that is safe. Hockey players, recovering from groin injuries or other injuries, may not be able to get back on the ice and practice, but these players will be able to ride a stationary bike or work on their arms in the gym. The goal is to keep your fitness base. A few methods of staying fit and healthy, include:
- Stay in your routine. Ask your doctor first, but if cleared, stick to your routine. This means that go for your afternoon jog or to the gym at three. If you can’t jog, fill your normal time schedule with something that will help you maintain your fitness level. The goal is to stay as active as you possibly can, staving off weight gain and keeping your same mindset as before your injury.
- Pay close attention to your diet. Your diet is essential for both muscle gain and weight loss. If you’re not focusing on your diet, you need to start. The goal is to keep any potential weight gain off. Eat healthy fats, lean meats, and vegetables to be able to maintain your current weight.
- Do as much as you can. You had foot surgery and need to be in a lightweight wheelchair? No problem. There is still a lot that you can do to stay fit. You may lose some strength in your legs, but you can gain a lot of strength in your arms by simply wheeling around your neighborhood. Even someone that is bedridden can use resistance bands to help retain some of their muscle and strength. The goal is to be able to maintain as much muscle as possible.
Find Alternative Forms of Exercise
Alternative forms of exercise that do not aggravate the injury are ideal. There are more than enough forms of exercise that can help you reduce muscle atrophy and burn calories at the same time.
Pool running is also known as aqua jogging. It's a common cross-training method for runners sideline by an injury. It's a low-impact yet high-resistant exercise that is excellent for working the same muscles used while running.
Though it's more challenging to maintain a regular cadence when aqua jogging, it's one of the only low-impact exercises that so closely mimics the movement patterns of jogging.
Further, it provides an excellent cardio workout that helps prevent muscle loss while you're healing from an injury.
Depending on the type and severity of your injury, stair walking is another low-impact exercise that is great for rehabilitating your lower body. Since the legs are considered a body's foundation, it's vital to functional strength.
The stronger your legs are, the less risk your face of injuring other portions of your body. Additionally, the plyometric motion created by stair walking helps strengthen similar muscles as doing squats and lunges.
Other significant effects of stair walking is an improving balance, working out your lungs, and a healthy increased heartbeat.
Avoiding Further Injury
The goal is to discuss your plans with your doctor and see what is the best course of action to recover from your injuries.
If you feel that your activities are causing your injuries to worsen, it may be time to stop and rest. Recovery can be boosted with the right exercise and routine, or recovery can be hindered by aggravating the injury.
You should be trying to do something every day to regain your health and mobility. Your doctor will likely provide a routine that you can follow, this may even be something as simple as stretching, that will be able to reduce the time it takes to heal from your injuries.
If you stay active and try your best to maintain a good diet, you’ll recover from your injuries without losing strength or range of motion.