Should You Continue to Exercise After an Injury?

gym injuries

Working out at a gym feels great.

You’re getting active, absorbing those natural body highs as if enjoying marijuana, and everyone gets to look at you and see you improving.

An injury can bring all that joy and progress to a halting stop, though. Whether you were injured in a car accident or from working out itself, you may feel like you’ve hit a roadblock.

Can you keep working out and staying active if you’ve suffered gym injuries?

We’re going to show you how you can keep exercising despite setbacks.

An Important Consideration

Before we get into the ways you can stay active and healthy with exercising, let’s cover some ground rules.

You should consult a doctor.

Your injury may be serious and you don’t want to be making it worse. Make sure to speak with your doctor so you can get a guideline on where your limitations may be.

A sports medicine physical therapist may also be able to help you understand your body and how to work around injuries.

Therapists and doctors can also help guide you by putting you on the right track with example exercises, stretches, and more.

Exercising with Gym Injuries

So you don’t want to keep your injuries from keeping you in the gym, right?

As long as you’ve taken step one (see above), you may be ready to re-enter the gym. Let’s take a look at some specific tips and steps to take.

1. Look Yourself in the Mirror and Prepare

You may feel intimidated to go back to the gym if your accident and injury was a result of working out at the gym.

Don’t stress out!

This is normal and completely understandable. It’s also a good opportunity to take some time for self-reflection.

Did you push yourself too hard? Were you not wearing the proper attire for the exercises you were doing? Did you not use some exercise equipment in the right way?

It’s a good idea to actually ask yourself these questions, too.

You may be able to remove bad form or behavior by taking it easy and not doing a particular exercise for a while.

Also, if your injury was serious enough that you weren’t able to exercise for a prolonged amount of time, you may have lost some of your momenta. An injury can take you out of the game for a while, and you may feel discouraged like you’re not making progress anymore.

Keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere, and that includes people that need to take time off for recovery. Just remind yourself that you started somewhere, too, and you can make it back to original goal, whether it was a particular body weight, muscle strength, or endurance level.

2. Start Slow and Small and Build up from There

Maybe you don’t know the exact cause of your injury.

For example, you may be suffering from a disc herniation that came about seemingly overnight. It may be absolutely impossible to know where that injury came from or how it started.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to start slow and small. Maybe you were doing mostly weight-lifting exercises before. This time, consider non-weight bearing exercises at first or just start off with smaller amounts or increments.

For example, if you normally run 10 miles at once, consider cutting that number in half and starting with just five. In fact, maybe even just run a single mile or even half a mile, and then evaluate from there.

If you still feel up for it, keep going!

Just as before your injury, always make sure to stretch and warm up properly before any exercise.

3. When Not to Exercise Through Injury

In general, even with serious physical injuries, there are small ways that you can stay active and keep exercising.

There are some cases where it is generally not recommended, though.

These include:

  • Fevers: Don’t try to exercise if you are suffering from a fever, although you can still exercise in moderation through common colds.
  • Chronic illnesses: Going back to the original consideration in this article, you may need to consult a doctor if you suffer from a chronic illness or injury.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea: You should avoid exercising if you are suffering from any of these issues, as they make you dehydrated. Exercising while dehydrated is never a good idea.

All in all, there are still ways to continue working out even through gym injuries, but some illnesses and injuries may be an exception.

4. Try Different Exercises

A particular exercise may have been responsible for your injury. Maybe you didn’t understand the exercise well enough, maybe you’re still a novice, or maybe the exercise itself is just an odd one, to begin with.

You should consider trying new exercises out when you re-enter the gym. Maybe ask a friend, your doctor, your physical therapist, or a personal trainer if you’re tackling a new exercise, though.

Different exercises than what you were used to may help keep you active and healthy while avoiding further injury to the problem area.

5. No Pain IS Gain

Maybe you’ve heard the now-common expression of “No pain, no gain” a statement popularized by Jane Fonda.

People use this statement a lot these days to encourage others to continue working through hardships and difficult times.

In general, it’s a good philosophy to have: persevere and persist despite loss and failure.

When you’re talking about working out with an injury, though, the opposite is true!

No pain is gain, and pain may actually be making matters worse. Your body is in recovery, and slowly making steps on a molecular level to healing itself.

If you feel pain, whether it be in your muscles, joints, nerves, etc., you may be hindering your recovery.

Listen to your body and react accordingly. If a stretch or exercise is painful, avoid it. Take it out of the equation entirely and try something else.

Stay Happy and Healthy Despite Gym Injuries

Gym injuries may have you feeling defeated in a number of ways. Not only may it be painful, but your road to recovery may be long and you may find yourself out of the gym for a long time.

There are ways to work out and exercise through gym injuries, though.

Hopefully, you took away some useful advice and tips here, but also some important considerations and warnings.

If you’re suffering from back injuries, check out our blog on ways you can get relief!

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