Injury got you down?
Don’t let yourself backslide out of fitness just because you’ve encountered an injury. Active recovery is the key to faster recovery.
Exercising wile injured may sound painful but there are a number of ways to get your exercise in without causing further injury.
Here are some non-weight bearing exercises for injuries.
What Is Weight Bearing Exercise?
Weight-bearing exercise refers to any exercise that puts excess pressure or weight on your joints. Did you know that even walking is considered a weight-bearing exercise?
Weight-bearing exercises have varying levels of intensity, but all of them are defined as your joints needing to bear weight.
The amount of weight your legs take during an exercise like running can be surprising. Every step you take walking exerts a load on each leg around 2 to 3 times your body weight. While running, this load increases to anywhere between 5 to 12 times your weight! That could mean you’re exerting up to 1,000 pounds of force on your leg with every stride.
This may sound unhealthy and damaging, but humans were evolved to be very good at weight-bearing exercise and it actually has a number of health benefits. These include strengthening muscles and joints, improving cardiovascular function, and toning your whole body.
What Exercises To Do While Injured
You’ll want to talk to your doctor and identify the root cause of the problem with your injury before proceeding with any new exercise routine.
It’s always a good idea to obtain some guidance from a sports medicine doctor who is taking into account the nature of your injury and how best to proceed with healing. You also want to be aware of the signs of further injury before proceeding.
Oftentimes, if you’re suffering from a simple sprain or strain, or even a stress fracture or pulled muscle, there are a number of exercises you can still do to ensure you don’t lose your physical fitness while still allowing your body to heal itself.
The type of alternate exercise you chose will highly depend on what type of injury you have and where it is located. For instance, if you have an ankle injury, you can utilize a stationary bike for cardio, but you would not want to do the same for a knee injury.
Swimming is the gold standard, the universal exercise of non-weight bearing needs.
Because your body is naturally buoyant, the water acts to protect your body from weight bearing down on any one spot. Plus, if you’ve ever spent an afternoon at the pool or swimming laps, you know how exhausting swimming can be. That’s because it’s an excellent cardiovascular workout and works almost every muscle in your body while being gentle on your joints.
Swimming is a great exercise to stay toned and fit for any injury, minor or severe.
Bicycling is also a great exercise that is non-weight bearing. Because you’re in a seated position, the weight is taken off your legs and arms and is focused into your core.
Therefore, when cycling, your leg muscles are allowed to work themselves without the immense load from your entire body weight. Cycling is also great for ankle or hip injuries for the same reason. Cycling gives you a whole body workout and is a great cardiovascular exercise as well.
Walking + Strength Training Exercises for Injuries
If your injury prevents you from biking or swimming, walking and lightweight lifting is a great alternative. Walking is the easiest and most straightforward exercise there is an requires no special knowledge or gear.
Walking may not seem like much of a workout, but walking a few miles every day can do wonders for your health. If you’re injured, walking a few miles will make a world of difference compared to sitting on the couch, and will make the transition back to your normal exercise routine easier after you heal.
Lifting weights of varying poundage based on your injury is another way to stay in shape!
Just because you’re injured, doesn’t mean you need to lose all the hard work you’ve put into your training routine.
Try these exercises for injuries the next time you find yourself hurt. You’ll not only feel better about still getting in a workout, but you’ll likely recover much faster as well.
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