Don’t Overdo It: The Best Sports For Injury Recovery
When you get a sports injury you need to be careful about how you deal with it. If you don’t take the right steps, you can easily end up making it worse and putting yourself out of action long term. Obviously, the first thing you should do is see a doctor and get their advice on the injury. They’ll likely tell you that you need to rest up and avoid any strenuous activity for a certain amount of time. It’s vital that you take their advice on board and resist the temptation to get back into sport too early, even if the injury feels as though it’s healed. If your body isn’t ready, you’ll end up getting injured again.
You can also speed up your recovery a little by making sure that your diet is right. When your body is trying to repair muscle or skin cells, it needs a lot of protein. However, it’s important that you remember you aren’t getting any exercise to burn off excess fat so if you’re eating protein sources like meat, you risk gaining weight. Instead, go for high protein vegetables and beans or use supplements to maintain a good protein level. Your body also needs a good amount of vitamins and nutrients to help the healing process so make sure that you’re eating plenty of fruit and vegetables.
If you do everything right it shouldn’t be too long until you’re ready to get back into sport but you still need to be cautious. If you go straight back into high impact sports that take their toll on your body you’ll just end up getting injured again and it’ll be a whole lot worse the second time around. You need to ease yourself into it with low impact sports that will gradually build up your muscles and increase your fitness again. You can then move onto some more strenuous activities once you’re ready. These are some of the best low impact sports to try when you’re recovering from an injury.
Swimming is probably one of the best sports to help you recover from an injury, especially if you’ve got a running injury. If you’ve damaged your knee, for example, running again is going to put a lot of stress on it every time your foot hits the ground. But when you’re swimming, the water suspends you and your body isn’t taking any hard knocks. However, the water resistance still gives you a full body workout and helps you to strengthen your muscles again. If you want to give yourself an extra challenge, you should try scuba diving. You don’t need to head out to an expensive ocean spot, just get some gear from Dive Right in Scuba and find a local swimming pool that offers diving sessions. Scuba diving is better than swimming because you’re constantly under the water battling against that resistance and you’re carrying extra weight with all that equipment.
Cycling is a good next step because you don’t have the water to suspend you but you’re still not hitting the floor hard with every step. The other major benefit of cycling is that you can choose how strenuous you want the workout to be, making it the perfect way to build your strength back up slowly. You can start out with a leisurely cycle around the city and then gradually build up your speed and distance each time you go out. It’s a good way to track how well your injury is coming along because you can see how your speed is improving and measure the impact on your body. There are plenty of cycling groups around so if you find yourself enjoying it, it’s something that you can easily carry on with after your injury is better.
Tai Chi isn’t usually associated with aerobic activity but it’s a good way to gently improve muscle strength all over the body. You can easily find routines on YouTube that you can follow at home without putting any strain on your body. It’s also good for your mental wellbeing which can be affected if you’re unable to get out and exercise as much as you normally would. Once you’re feeling a lot stronger and you feel as though you want to take it up a gear, you can try your hand at a new form of cardio Tai Chi that’s gained popularity recently. The benefit of Tai Chi is that it trains your entire body so not only are you strengthening your injury, you’re making sure that the rest of the body stays toned while you’re unable to do any cardio exercise.
Running might be out of the question but walking won’t put too much pressure on your injuries. When you’re out of action it’s important that you still stay active where possible so once the doctor tells you it’s ok, you should start taking short walks around the neighborhood. After that, you can start graduating to proper hikes. Begin with some of the easier trails that aren’t too taxing before moving up to some of the more difficult ones with a lot of hills and rough terrain. A tough hike can burn almost as many calories as a run without risking further injury while you’re still recovering.
People that don’t do horse riding often think that the horse does all the work and it’s not really good exercise but if you say that to a horse rider, they won’t be happy. It might not be as intensive as running or weight lifting but maintaining your balance and directing the horse takes a lot of muscle strength, however, the horse is taking the impact from the ground so it won’t be too hard on your injury. The only thing to remember is that there is always the risk of falling off if you’ve not done it before so make sure you take plenty of lessons and start out slow.
The most important thing when you’re recovering from an injury is that you take it slowly and don’t try to get back into exercise too soon.