Among fitness enthusiasts, injuries are very common and as much as they avoid injury, it can happen to anyone. In case of injury, rest days are as important as training days. In fact, an ideal fitness program is not complete without rest days.
Injured athletes often worry about losing their fitness routine when they’re not training, but it’s possible to stick to an exercise routine while recovering from an injury. When an athlete is physically injured, a recovery regimen is recommended depending on the condition or level of injury.
Depending on the severity and position of the injury, medical professionals will determine whether one needs immediate treatment or not. Before maintaining or beginning a training plan, consult a medical professional to ensure the injury is diagnosed and properly treated.
The return to work or sport following an injury is at the heart of any treatment and is adapted by the treating surgeon to the needs of the person after his detailed assessment. Injuries can range from a simple ligament sprain to complex ligament tears, bone fractures managed conservatively or surgically.
Circumstances of not being able to train and stay fit due to a sudden injury are common. However, resting doesn’t mean you have to stop focusing on workouts, there are plenty of impactful ways to maintain fitness during the recovery period.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Abhishek Chatterjee, CPT ACSM, Managing Director of SWITCH Wellness, said, “During an injury, one can have a lot of thoughts running through their minds, which drives them to try creative and flexible exercises. Even if a part of the body is injured, there are usually other ways to stay fit and recover using the principles of cross-training. When one is injured, it does not necessarily mean that all fitness gains are lost. One can modify their fitness regimen with an alternative. However, remembering the importance of rest time in healing an injury is crucial.
He pointed out: “Some alternative exercises that can be done during the injury recovery period are: swimming and pool workouts, walking, stretching, gentle yoga, balance exercises, these will keep the muscles active and will also refresh the body. Also, always remember that no injury is major or minor, it entirely depends on how it is perceived and taken care of. The key is to maintain the right attitude, stay active and stay positive.
Stating that a comeback plan should always include stepping up rather than an aggressive full-power jump because it can make the injury worse or take longer to heal, Dr. Paneendra Sudarshan, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at Apollo Spectra Hospital in Bangalore, suggested:
1) Start slowly. Resume training once pain, swelling, and stiffness have improved and subsided.
2) Always get approval from your attending surgeon before beginning any specific or advanced sport training.
3) Ask your physiotherapist to train your muscles to strengthen and stretch the injured area.
4) Know your body and your injuries well before pushing your limits. Each individual body reacts differently and the time it takes to heal varies.
5) Stay positive. Mental preparation is just as important to regain strength and speed. Believe that healing is possible.
6) Start with low impact activities and train other areas of the body to avoid injury.
7) The body does not lie. Always pay close attention to your body and how it reacts. Pain or discomfort following exercise should subside with rest. If this is not the case, it is better to lower the intensity and the repetitions.
8) Finally, the path to recovery is possible and the best way to get there is through gradual, supervised training.