Recovering from an injury takes time and patience. Even after your physical therapist gives you the go-ahead to return to exercise, it can feel daunting. After all, you don’t want to reverse your weeks or months of hard work by risking another injury. Following this guide to getting back into exercise after recovering from an injury will help you stay safe during this critical period.

Start Slowly

The most crucial thing to do when getting back into exercise after an injury is to start very, very slowly. Particularly for serious athletes, this can be hard. Perhaps you ran marathons before you were injured. Even so, you should start by running no more than a block or two at a time. Practice slowing down your intensity, decreasing your time and lowering the frequency of your physical activity. As you gain strength and confidence, you can gradually increase the level of your training.

Listen to Your Body

There are often warning signs that precede re-injury. Be attuned to your body to notice any subtle changes that could be signs of danger. For example, some soreness or stiffness may be normal following an orthopedic injury. However, sharp pain, popping sounds or a dull ache that does not go away are signs that something is wrong. If you experience these problems, talk to your orthopedic doctor or physical therapist immediately. Rest your injured body part before trying to exercise again.

Focus on Flexibility and Balance

Many athletes who are recovering from an injury are eager to regain their strength and speed. However, it is important to focus on all physical therapistaspects of physical fitness, particularly during this vulnerable recovery period. Flexibility and balance are two of the most overlooked aspects of whole-body fitness. To improve your flexibility, ensure that you adequately stretch your muscles before and after exercising. Additionally, balance exercises can strengthen your core muscles and small stabilizing muscles that will prevent a future injury.

If you are unsure of whether an activity is safe for you to perform, ask your orthopedic doctor. At Southeast Orthopedics Specialists, we have worked with thousands of patients to help them regain their independence after an injury. We want you to feel safe and comfortable returning to the activities you love. Contact us today to learn how we can help as you transition through the recovery process.

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