Safely return to exercise after an injury with these coaching steps that will help you come back strong and regain your fitness.
“Hey friends! I got my boot off last week- HOORAY!- and have started to try and get back to weight bearing workouts. Its freaking hard! And I really struggle to pace myself- at the end of the day I often find myself overly sore because I wasn’t ready for the level of activity I engaged in. Anyone else in this boat? How do you handle it? Any workouts you’ve found that are weight bearing but not too weight bearing (lol)? How do you ease back into your workouts without going too far? After this injury I am so scared of getting another one!” – Ashley R, Hurt Foot Fitness Program member
This comment was from one of my Hurt Foot Fitness Coaching members to our private program facebook group. After her post, all of the other students chimed in with their personal thoughts and challenges in finding a safe return to exercise. Can you relate?
It’s one of the hardest parts of healing from an injury = SAFELY returning to exercise. Without the right program or coach it can be difficult to find the right amount of physical activity that allows you to make progress without setbacks.
Without guidance it’s a challenge to find the BALANCE of activity and rest. We go too hard too fast too soon. We feel lost, discouraged, confused. How do you get back into active living without getting another injury? What is the right rate of progression to follow?? What workouts should you do?
Thats EXACTLY why I created my online programs: to give people the coaching, support, and tools to SAFELY return to exercise after injury.
Here are a few of my coaching tips on safely returning to exercise after an injury and a downloadable strength workout to get you moving in the right direction today.
Safely Returning To Exercise After An Injury. Steps Coming Back Strong And Regaining Your Fitness.
The first thing to keep in mind when getting back to weight bearing exercise after your time off is: Pace yourself and be grateful for every step.
How you plan your return will depend on the nature and severity of your injury and the length of time you’ve been out for.
I understand your eagerness to get back into your active life. You miss running, biking, hiking, jumping, high heels, you miss it all! But listen: going back too fast too soon will only give you a whole other set of problems. You don’t have time for that! It’s better to make slow, positive progress than to jump back into things before your body is ready and end up more hurt.
Remember first and foremost: always listen to your body and stop if anything puts you at risk for re-injury. The suggestions below will allow you to safely return to exercise.
How To Safely Return to Exercise After Injury.
- INVEST IN YOURSELF. People always cut corners when in comes to their health. DONT be one of them. Your health is the foundation in everything you do. You get what you pay for. This is a time in your life when it’s 100% worth it to invest in professionals who can help guide you through the healing process. Because dealing with an injury often causes the body to develop muscular imbalances and strange movement patterns, it’s important to work with people who can help you heal your injury, retrain your body, and prevent future injuries. Only invest in people who you feel comfortable and confident with. Inexperienced professionals can hurt your progress or even set you back. Follow their guidelines and recommendations for when you can return to the gym, how hard to push yourself, what types of exercises are best, and the type of rehab you should be doing. My Hurt Foot Fitness Coaching program can help you.
- Build Slowly. Patience pays off in the long haul, do NOT rush things! Gradually increase the amount of time you spend weight bearing and supplement the rest with cross-training like all of the workouts in my Hurt Foot Fitness program.
- Keep Up Your P.T. A lot of people make the mistake of slacking on their physical therapy or other rehab exercises as soon as they start becoming more active. Don’t get comfortable and forget that, in order to prevent getting injured again, you still need to keep up on your preventative care. I call my P.T. exercises my “homework” and make a habit to do them first before anything else. Setting yourself up for long term success is worth it!!
- Don’t beat yourself up. Be kind and compassionate to yourself as you ease your way back into active living. Don’t torture yourself with comparisons to your pre-injury self. It will only set you up for frustration and can ultimately derail your comeback. Track the progress you make post-injury and take every victory (ie: extra miles, faster workouts, etc.) as it comes. Be proud of yourself for staying patient, positive, and smart in the recovery process.
- Take it one day at a time. Being patient is tough for everyone. Sometimes the only way to retain sanity is to take it one day at a time. Rather than focus on how much work you have ahead of you, look at what workouts and goals you can achieve for that day or that week. Set mini goals each week and check them off as benchmarks along your route to making a full comeback to active living.
- Keep Up with Your Strength Training! Maintain your strength as you return to 100%. My Hurt Foot Fitness program is designed to help you keep your core stable and body strong. This is important to maintain as you get back into active living and will prevent future injuries.
- There will be setbacks but you are strong and smart enough to deal with them right. In the healing process there will be setbacks. There will be weeks when you overdo it just a little bit and your body tells you it’s too much. This happens! I know it can feel defeating, but look at setbacks as an opportunity to listen to your body and reassess movement patterns or your workout schedule. Spend more time resting or meditating until your body feels ready to go again. Let your body tell you what it needs you to do. Before you know it, you’ll be back on track and better for listening, learning, and growing from each set back.
- Positivity and Perspective: The biggest deciding factor in how well you can come back from an injury is perspective and your ability to stay positive. Even on the days when you’d like to burn the elliptical or bike to the ground, give yourself a little window of time to vent. You WILL heal and make it through this time. Look forward to each baby step forward and do not forget that each mile is NOT a given. Be grateful for what you can do. This will help you remain patient and keep your eyes focused on the long term and healing to full health.
- Use a coached program like the Strong Body course to guide you through the transition. The most challenging part about coming back from an injury is knowing how to ease back in to active living without over-doing it or getting another injury in the process. Having a balanced fitness program is an essential part of healing so that you avoid future problems down the road. Injuries pile up if you don’t take care of them right! I’ve put together a safe program to help you build a balanced body to prevent injury and recover from one. Many Hurt Foot fitness clients have enrolled in the Strong Body program post injury and seen incredible progress. This program was designed to be used to help you restore balance in your body. No quick fixes. No extremes. Just real, honest work for real honest results. Learn more about the program here and when you are ready, I’d love to have you join us.
My Hurt Foot Fitness program includes downloadable workouts and videos to support you in returning to the active life you love pain free. Below is a sample of what you can enjoy when you enroll! Get the workout here.
Patience really is the hardest part of the healing process, but it is something worth practicing so you don’t end up in a constant cycle of injury, re injury, and pain. So practice! Practice being patient. Practice letting go and letting your body do what it needs to heal. When someone asks you, “When will you get better?” or “When will you be able to run again?” Tell them, “When my body is ready.” Take all the time you need to heal. If you do it right, you’ll only need to heal from your injury once. I believe in you and in your body’s ability to come back from this injury stronger. Be smart, be kind to yourself, and take it one step at a time in getting back into the active game of your life.
Coming back from an injury is hard I know. But at least it’s not as hard as actually dealing with the injury itself! Healing can be empowering and exciting if you let it. Make this YOUR opportunity to heal and feel your best. If you recover right, you’ll have a lifetime ahead of you of great workouts.
Have you ever faced the challenge of returning to exercise safely and pain free? Whats one tip that has helped you? Let me know in the comments below.
Heres to healing and you feeling your very best.
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