Returning to working out after an injury is tough.
Add a surgery and it makes it even tougher. I know because it’s where I am right now. To take time off working out is so difficult, especially when you’re used to working out all the time. But doing what’s right for your body is the most important thing. I’ve learned my lesson over the years. Following doctor’s orders, listening to your body, and modifying when needed are things you have to consider.
Having a good doctor, physical therapist, and trainer makes all the difference. Make sure you have people looking out for you and giving you the best advice. Everyone is different, so your treatment and recovery plan should be customized to you. Be your own advocate. Know what feels right, speak up, and ask lots of questions. I had to make sure that my doctor and physical therapist understood by baseline. What is “normal” activity for someone else is not normal for me. It’s been a lot of work to get back to my normal level of activity, and I am still working on it.
Listening to your body is one of the most important things you can do when returning to exercise. You will know when you have pushed too far. Be aware and don’t be afraid to stop or slow down if necessary. It will be better in the long run. When I am feeling fatigue or overworked, the foam roller is my best friend. Rolling out the quadriceps and glutes can make such a difference. If you roll after a workout, stay with each muscle for at least 30 seconds. It will pay off. I promise.
Modifying your exercises doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making them easier. You are simply making them more productive for your body. You will get way more out of an exercise if you are able to execute the move with the correct form. The range of motion and intensity will depend on your injury and plan for recovery. If you have any questions about the progression or regression of an exercise, ask any of the trainers here at the club. We are happy to help!
So, if you are recovering from injury and/or surgery, please be good to yourself.
Remember why you are working out. You want to be stronger, have energy, and most importantly, longevity.