Being injured sucks. Depending on what part of the body you've damaged, you're likely to be restricted in your movement which is inconvenient and can be a huge blow to your fitness level. So how can you stay fit when you're down and injured?
Injured ankle image from Shutterstock
On Monday, I wrote about Motorcycle Awareness Week. Ironically, on that very day I was hit by a car on my motorbike. It was at low speed and not all that serious but I had to go to hospital for some stitches on one leg. I'm normally a very active person and this incident has hampered my plans to go for a run or do Brazilian jiujitsu for the next few weeks. Yet I can't sit still. I want to stay fit.
Being inactive can make your fitness levels plummet quickly. Not only that, if you're injured, chances are you're not going to be feeling super positive. I don't know about you but when I'm down I generally reach for any junk food I can get my hands on, which does me no favours when I want to stay fit.
There are ways to maintain your fitness while part of your body is out of action. What you can do really does depend on what kind of injury you are nursing. It is also a good idea to consult your doctor about what you can and cannot do while you're convalescing.
If it's a minor injury isolated to one part of the body, then chances are it won't affect your ability to use the rest of your body so you can do targeted exercises away from the afflicted area.
For example, if your injury is on the lower half of your body such as in the ankles and knees, you can try doing exercises in the sitting or laying down positions. Author and personal trainer Ashley Borden told Women's Health that "push" exercises, such as chest presses on a bench or overhead presses using dumbbells, along with "pull" exercises including lateral pulldowns and seated rows, are some of the options for those with lower body ailments.
While the aforementioned workouts do require gym equipment, there are still plenty of exercises you can do at home. Here's a video of some upper body cardio exercises you can try with just a standard dining chair:
If you've hurt youself someone on your upper body, it is easier for you to continue doing traditional cardio exercises which generally use the legs. The most obvious exercises you can do are jogging on a treadmill and moving your legs on elliptical and cycling machines at the gym. Again, these do require equipment and if you really don't want to go through all that trouble, you can just go for a run outdoors, jog up some stairs or wall squats.
It is worth nothing that if you have a muscular injury, it's best to avoid stretching the area or you'll risk tearing the affect muscle, according to Borden.
More importantly, it is paramount that you don't exert yourself too much while you're injured. You don't want to hurt yourself even more so avoid pushing yourself too hard if you do choose to exercise when you're not feeling 100 per cent.