Return to Exercise After Injury with A Personal Trainer
Jan 8, 2021
Whether you sprained your ankle while jogging or broke your elbow falling off a ladder, injuries are a surefire way to keep you on the bench, and out of the fitness studio. The desire to rush back into exercise can be a strong one, for both young and old, alike. In fact, for older adults, falls are the predominant cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions, with one out of four individuals age 65 and older suffering a fall each year. Regular exercise will be integral to getting back to good, but how and when you should return to the fitness studio depends on a number of factors.
- Before you do anything – get your physician’s OK. You may think you’re ready. You might be feeling in tiptop shape. And better yet, you might be feeling the itch to get back to those free weights. And that’s great. All good signs. But jumping the gun could put you out of commission again, extending your hiatus and making the wait all the more grueling. Particularly for seniors who have endured a fall, injury to soft tissue could take up to six weeks to reform and repair internally – and even longer to heal completely. Talk to your doctors and your physical therapists and get the greenlight for exercise after injury before you schedule your return session.
- Take baby steps. We know. This blog is going to be one bit of frustrating news after the other. (Sorry! ☹) After all, you’re raring to go. But hear us out. Test the waters first. Start out at 50% capacity and see how that feels, and gradually increase by 15% or so each consecutive week. Also, be sure to warm up and cool down for 3-5 minutes or whatever your physical therapist advises. The need to prep your body for exercise hasn’t changed while you were on the sidelines. Personal trainers are skilled at helping seniors address specific issues arising from falls, and creating custom workouts designed to aid in re-strengthening.
- Pay attention to what your body is telling you. It’s fine and expected to feel a bit of strain or discomfort when you’re getting back into the thick of things after months without working out. In fact, training yourself to push through that burn is a critical component of exercise after injury. But sharp pains – or anything severe – is not normal or natural, particularly if the hurt persists after you’ve called it quits. You may need to take a (much shorter) break of a few days before hitting the mat again. Your personal trainer is thoroughly versed in what pain is “good” and helpful, and what pains should send up red flags. They will be pivotal in helping you decide when a day of rest is called for, and when a call to the doctor is necessary.
- Be proactive to avoid falls and other injuries. As we age, our muscle mass and strength begin to diminish – and individuals with weakened muscles are more likely to suffer falls. Resistance training can help to build the strong foundational muscles – feet, hips, legs, and trunk – that are essential for better balance. Resistance training is also key to warding off bone loss – or osteoporosis. Your personal trainer will be able to develop a custom regimen that helps you to fortify your body and prevent further injuries.
Fitness Together Ellicott City’s certified personal trainers are ready to help you overcome your recent injury and return to the fitness studio in a safe and disciplined manner. Contact us today to learn more.