One of the most frustrating parts of recovering from an injury is being unable to work out in your normal capacity. While you’ll need to take it slow until your doctor gives you the OK to resume normal physical activity, this doesn’t mean you have to be completely sedentary while you recover.
Here are four gentle, low-impact exercises you can try while recovering from any kind of injury:
Baby Steps: Walking First
Since walking is the most natural type of movement for the human body, it’s no surprise that it’s the safest exercise to start with after an injury. Still, though, you’ll want to be careful about where and how you walk. Walking up or down steep hills put more strain on your legs and is thus a bad idea if you’re recovering from a lower-body injury, and in general, it’s wise to start by walking shorter distances than you’re used to. If you are recovering from a knee injury, you might even want to hold back on the walking for now. If your doctor gives you the okay, try just simply taking a short stroll through your neighborhood.
Swimming is another exercise that’s perfect for post-injury recovery. This is primarily because the water takes some of the pressure off your joints and muscles, reducing the overall strain on your body. You can also practice different strokes depending on which muscle groups you injured. Just remember to start by swimming shorter lengths than you normally would and slowly work your way back up. Swimming can be a good workout for lower body injuries as well. It focuses on working your upper body and can even be a good alternative for cardio if done correctly.
Yoga is a great recovery exercise because it allows you to exercise many different muscle groups without putting much strain on any of them. Yoga also helps boost your flexibility, which is helpful after a post-injury period of inactivity has made your muscles stiff and inflexible from lack of use.
There’s a reason many physical therapists recommend yoga to people recovering from serious injuries. You can even find yoga classes that focus on stretching and restoring your body. You don’t have to do a vigorous strength-training workout to feel benefits of exercise, something simple as a relaxing yoga class can help.
The advantage ellipticals have over treadmills is that the motion puts less strain on your leg muscles. While jogging outdoors or on a treadmill is a no-go after many injuries–particularly lower-body injuries–there’s a good chance that your doctor or physical therapist will approve gentle elliptical workouts. You can do these workouts while being observed by a trainer or a friend as well. They can make sure your form is okay and that you won’t be harming your injury further.
While this list is by no means comprehensive, all four of these workouts are low-impact and therefore safe to practice while recovering from just about any injury. The most important thing to remember is to talk to your doctor or physical therapist and get their OK before starting any kind of exercise.
If you’ve even suffered a severe injury through an accident, consider contacting a personal injury attorney. They can give you the compensation you need through recovery. It may help you pay for necessary physical therapy to help you perform exercises that encourage injury recovery and that are gentle enough for your specific case. Don’t put up with unnecessary suffering from injuries. Consider all of these tips to help you during your recovery process.