Injuries happen. Whether you are training for an event or simply working out to lose weight, it is likely that at some point you will be sidelined by a pesky pain somewhere in your body. Of course the first goal should always be prevention. Proper stretching, warm-up, and cool-down can help prevent most issues. Proper form and cross training can help prevent others. But if you have taken all necessary precautions and have somehow still managed to wind up on the side lines, there are a few things you can do to stay in the game as you heal.
- Hit the Pool. Depending upon the specific injury, swimming can be a great way to maintain your fitness level while still allowing your body to heal. The water offers resistance training, as well as an aerobic workout. At the same time, swimming gives your muscles and joints a rest from the pounding they receive through other forms of exercise.
- Switch to the elliptical. Again, depending upon the injury, the elliptical is a great way to maintain an aerobic routine while preventing the stress of high impact exercise. This can be particularly helpful for shin splints or minor muscle strain.
- Break out the yoga mat. Yoga can be a great asset for those who simply need to lay off the cardio and recover. The stretching can sometimes be helpful in the healing process, and might even play a crucial role in recovery. Practicing yoga is a great way to keep the body active, while providing mental awareness and relaxation.
Injuries are never pleasant and taking time off to heal can feel like the worst possible scenario. Modifying your workouts is one way to maintain an active lifestyle without further aggravating an injury. However, not all injuries are created equal and sometimes it really is necessary to give your body a rest. Pushing through an injury can lead to further complications that will simply leave you out of the game for a longer period of time. Always consult with your doctor or trainer to find the best possible option for your situation and remember to always listen to your body. Best of luck and happy healing!