7 ways to stay fit even when you’re injured
1. listen to your physical therapist
they know what you’re supposed to do and what you’re not. so before you attempt anything, ask your PT if it’s ok, and ask what they recommend. if it’s not what you wanted to hear, don’t just ignore it — you may be prolonging your recovery time.
2. get another PT (personal trainer)
other than a physical therapist, a personal trainer can be immensely helpful. these people are often accredited and understand the body like physical therapists. if you tell them where your injury is and what your PT said, then this PT can work with you to maintain and build strength while avoiding injuring yourself further.
they can also be helpful for post-injury so you can build yourself back up to your former fitness level. this is much less frustrating and scary than attempting to figure things out on your own.
3. go at your own pace
don’t compare yourself to others, but more importantly, don’t compare yourself to what you used to be. it can be frustrating dealing with an injury because you were able to do all these things, and now, suddenly, you can’t.
but stop comparing yourself to anyone, even past you, and live in the now. go at your own pace. accept that this pace may be slower than you would like or are used to, and embrace it. often we get injured because we’re going too hard and doing too much, so take this chance to slow down.
4. be more active in your life
if your injury isn’t causing you to be bedridden, get out there and do non-exercise things. so walk as much as you can — that’s the easiest way to stay fit without exercising.
5. don’t be afraid to try something new
a lot of people turn to swimming when they get injured, because it’s a low impact sport. for those of you who haven’t grown up swimming, I can only imagine how nerve racking it might sound to get into the water and do laps. full disclosure — when I first started swimming, I had to sit in the backseat of my mom’s car for 5 minutes before getting into the water and essentially meditate to calm myself down — I honestly thought I would drown.
but my point is, it’s not as scary once you take the leap. the same goes for any new form of physical activity.
6. focus on your core
almost every sports-related injury allows you to still work your core, unless it’s a spinal / back injury. the core is the foundation of so many things — of a strong spine, of good posture, of, essentially, good health.
so take the time to really work on things like planks and other core exercises, making sure you have correct form.
7. teach classes
I have a friend who’s almost always injured, but she still teaches ballet. I had a yoga instructor today whose foot was in a boot, but she still taught the class. one of my old boxing instructors sprained his ankle, but still taught class (and just avoided high knees for a very long time).
so if you’re already a fitness instructor, try and teach more classes and use that as your form of workout — often, you only need to demonstrate an activity, not actually do it yourself for a long time, so it’s injury-friendly. a huge caveat though — make sure that you’re cleared to do this so you don’t injure yourself further.
here are some other helpful resources: