Once an injury is healed and you’re pretty sure you’re ready to get back on the metaphorical horse, making the decision of how to do that without risking further setbacks can sometimes be difficult. So it definitely works in your favor to ease back while you’re still unsure, even though I know it kills me to not be able to do what I used to right away.
After my knee injury, I was looking for ways to get a little exercise without putting too much strain on my knees. And if you think about it, a lot of exercises demand a lot from our knees. But my favorite workout while I was still healing was swimming freestyle. (Breaststroke actually did me more bad than good, because of the angle that’s harsh to your knees). Swimming is a really excellent workout, almost full body-it’s cool, refreshing, really challenging (for me anyway), and burns calories quick. I often find myself pretty exhausted by the time I’ve swum for 30-45 minutes. I always get a good night’s sleep after swimming, which always makes me think of being a little kid running around and jumping in pools all day during summers years ago. There’s a lot of reasons I love the water so much!
Swimming kept me active before I could really get into the running and soccer that I love so much. Indoor cyclying or spinning is another decent workout that can ease up on your knees, as well as using an elliptical. These machines work with your body more than a straight-up concrete road will. They kind of bore me sometimes, but it’s worth it to break a bit of a sweat.
Finally, I’ve started to feel ready to ease my way back into my kind of workouts, involving running and lifting weights. Of course the temperature is working against me (a bajillion degrees), but I’ve been gearing up into some more strenuous elliptical sessions and spinning classes to get my endurance back. Even doing certain leg and ab exercises tire me out way before they used to, and it’s pretty annoying. Everyone knows how it feels to have a few extra pounds sitting on top of what they know they can be–what they usually are when they’re feeling healthy and fit. And pictures are nasty reminders.
But I’ve been taking it one day at a time, and I’ve found that really varying up your workout helps you to not burn out. One day, I’ll do some tough interval training on an elliptical. It’s not as hard as running on the road, but interval training is helpful for endurance and torching calories. The next day, I’ll go to a yoga class- which has been tougher than expected, but great. The next day I’ll go to a spinning class (my fave so far, I’ll post about it). I’ll mix in some quick arm and leg and ab weight and exercise sessions alongside these activities. Get in a good mix of cardio and strength. And I’m definitely seeing the old me come back. It’ll just take a little time. But if I do it the right way, I won’t risk heading back in the same direction.
How do you get through your recovery periods? How long does it take you to get back to your strong place?
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