Sometimes, sickness or injury can keep you away from the gym. Fortunately, when done appropriately, exercise can help you heal faster and feel better. Still, you have to take note of your body’s limits and increase your activity steadily to avoid injury. Work with your health professional, consider your particular health needs, be patient, and you will resume your regular fitness program in no time.
Here are a few steps for getting back into your gym routine after an illness.
- Begin with Walking
If you are struggling to get back into your regular exercise routine, it is advisable to start with something easy like taking a 5-minute stroll in the park. Walking is the most natural type of exercise for the human body. What’s more, it is very low impact making it a great comeback exercise after illness or injury.
Put on your best cross-fit shoes and start moving. Preferably, start with a few minutes and then increase the pace gradually as you listen to your body’s response.
- Reduce Your Workout Efforts by At Least 20% of What You Think You Can Do
Exercise and movement bring people immense joy. And when you are unable to do so, and the realization of how much joy movement brings makes most people very eager to get back into their regular physical routine. However, regardless of how incredibly inspired, you are to get back on the tracks, being overly anxious can lead to re-injury.
Hence, start your workouts slowly and then begin making steady progress.
- Consider Working with a Movement Specialist, Kinesiologist or Physical Therapist with an Understanding of Your Condition
Your health professional can get you back to the level of physical fitness you desire. Whether your period of inactiveness was extensive or short, it is imperative to work with someone who can assess your ability to incorporate specific workouts into your regime as well as determine your readiness to progress.
Your physical therapist can create a program to address various needs and make the needed modifications as you progress.
- After Illness or Injury, Pain Is Pain
While most fitness enthusiasts live by the motto “No pain, No gain,” when working out after an illness or injury, this mantra couldn’t be further from the truth. Always remember that pain is your body’s signal that you have gone too far. Take the time to rest and recover before reintroducing exercise and other physical activities.
Listen to your body and give it body time to heal.
Continue to pay attention to your diet. Feed your body the best and most nutritious foods, including quality proteins, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory foods like leafy vegetables and sufficient water. Without the right nutrition and getting enough sleep, your body will not be able to recover fully from the training sessions, making it hard for you to work out the next day.
Do not assume that you can go back to 100% exercising after an illness. A prolonged illness or injury can have adverse effects on your body. Fortunately, with the right treatment, exercise, and nutrition, your body will recover in time. So, build back slowly.