Finally Feeling Better: Time to Get Active Again

Some tips for getting active again after recovering from an injury.

Getting back into the groove of normal activity after healing from an injury takes a lot of patience and time to rebuild one’s body to a new, comfortable state of being. While many people who avidly exercise may be eager to get back to their sport, hobby or routine, doing so in the wrong way could have a negative outcome and possibly result in re-injury. To help avoid this, consider these three things before jumping back into a normal activity routine.

Get started, but start slow: Take the time you need to mentally heal from the injury that you have focused so much recent energy into healing. Understand that your body is not what it was before the injury, and it may never be the same or have the same abilities as it did before. Knowing and accepting that is the first step to getting active again after healing from an injury. Start with shorter versions of your old exercises or try something totally different. Knowing your body isn’t the same as it was before the injury can be a hard thing to accept, and many athletes struggle with this as they have to redefine the type of athlete they are and are going to be in the future. Mentally, it may deter you from wanting to get active again or even try to be who you were before but it is so important to get going again to keep yourself mentally and physically as healthy as you can be.

Finding a new limit and respecting it: Before I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), I exercised five hours every single day. Having my doctor tell me that I can never swim competitively again made it very difficult to imagine how I was going to keep active. Throughout the six years since I was diagnosed, I have learned that CRPS doesn’t just limit me from swimming fast, it eliminates the option to run, jump, and lift weights as well. Realizing and accepting my new physical limitation(s) was the hardest part about redefining my exercise routines. Once I knew what I couldn’t do, it was time to explore what I could do. Riding a bike on an easy path, easy swimming and hikes with gentle slopes are my main modes of exercise and activity now. I have tested and learned my limits as far as how many hills I can conquer and how many miles I can hike or bike before doing more harm than good.

Utilize loved ones to help establish a new normal: Testing and learning my limits has taken a lot of time, patience. Without the daily encouragement and support of my loved ones, staying active would be much harder. While there are some days when I just want to keep going and be that ‘five hours of exercise a day’ girl again, there are other days when I have no desire or motivation to get out and get active. The support of my loved ones has been the key to establishing a new normal post injury. Having the people around you understand your new limitations and abilities is key to being mentally capable of getting active again after an injury.

Check back next time to learn some important questions to ask your doctor before starting a prescription pain medication.

by Chugach Chiropractic & Massage Center