Can You Exercise While Injured?

When you’re injured, your doctor will always recommend rest so your body can heal and recover properly. But while we all can agree that the injured area should be protected, what about the rest of your body? Is exercising OK when you have an injury?

Soreness vs. Injury

The first thing you need to determine is whether it is an injury or just soreness. It’s normal to feel pain after exercise particularly if it’s an exercise you just started doing. A day or two after, you’ll experience what’s known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and when it does, you’ll probably wonder if its an injury, but this is actually your body’s response to a new workout. So if it’s soreness you can take over the counter pain medication, a hot bath and some rest.  On the other hand, if the pain is new and gets worse over time, then it’s possible you may have an injury.

Is Exercising OK with Injury?

The answer is, it depends. We recommend you see a healthcare professional to make sure your injury is properly diagnosed and treated. Then you can seek their advice as to what kind of workouts you can do while your body heals from the injury. For example if you have a leg injury, then the doctor may give you the go signal to exercise your arms and upper body. Sometimes however, you’ll need to completely take a break from any physical activity depending on the kind of injury you have.

Whatever your healthcare provider recommends, be sure to heed their advice.

Modify Your Workouts

As mentioned previously, if you have a leg injury, you may still be able to work on your upper body unless you’re told otherwise by your healthcare practitioner. If you’re allowed to workout, switching to a sit-down workout routine in this case may be advisable in order to not put pressure on the injured area.

Conversely, if you have upper-body injury, you may still be able to do lower-body exercises in the meantime.

If It’s Painful – Stop

Close up of beautiful young woman having injury during exercise in gym, accident and sport fitness concept.

Resist the temptation to go back to your usual routine even if you feel you’re already OK. And should you experience pain in your body, you have to stop exercising. Continuing to work out amidst the pain could prevent your injury from healing and may even trigger further injury.

Give Your Body Time to Recover

You may think you’re missing out by skipping a week or two of exercise but that’s not the case at all. On the other hand, forcing yourself can worsen your injury and prolong recovery.

Another thing to keep in mind is that once you’re ready to return to your usual workout routine, you may need to dial back on the frequency or intensity of your workouts so your body can recover in between sessions.

Preventing Injuries

Consider why you got injured and determine how it can be avoided in the future. Do you need a spotter to monitor your workout? Or perhaps you should avoid pushing yourself too hard? You may also need to do some proper warm-ups and stretching before doing any exercise.

No one wants to get an injury, so do keep in mind the following tips:

  1. Overtraining can lead to injury. Make sure your body gets enough time to rest and recover.
  2. Stretch each muscle group before working out. Imbalances and tightness in the muscle can put them at risk of straining or even rupturing.
  3. Build up strength in your entire body. Incorporate weight training into your exercise routine so that each and all muscle groups grow strong and not have to compensate for the other.

If you need more information on how you can avoid injury while exercising, a personal trainer in gyms like Gold’s would be more than happy to discuss tips and training programs with you.

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