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Can you still exercise if you’re injured?

If you are an active person and hate to miss a workout, an ill-timed injury can be hugely frustrating. You don’t want to miss your daily exercise, but you also don’t want to risk making your injury worse – so what’s the best thing to do?

Getting medical advice should be your top priority

Before you do anything, it is essential to get advice from a medical professional. It may mean going back to whoever treated you when the initial injury took place, or making an appointment at a facility with a specialist sports injury department such as The Wilmslow Hospital.

Further diagnostics may be required to fully ascertain the true extent of the injury, and to check on its progress. You should also receive advice, and ask lots of your questions, about what you can and can’t do while you’re injured. It’s crucial to follow this medical advice, as you could make things far worse and put yourself out of action for longer if you overdo it.

Work hard at recovery

While time is usually the best healer for physical injuries, there are still lots of things you may be able to do to speed things up. Ask your doctor how you can aid your own recovery, from certain stretches to icing for ten minutes every so often. Whatever advice they give you, follow it. If you spend the same amount of energy on recovery as you do for training, you’ll soon be fighting fit.

Keeping fit while injured

If you can’t train or do your normal exercise as usual, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean that you have to sit on the sofa for weeks going stir-crazy, feeling that all your hard work is being undone. There are lots of ways you can still keep fit and active, without exacerbating your injury. For example:

• Low-intensity exercise on another part of the body. If your doctor says it’s safe and it doesn’t hurt, you can try something new and work out a different part of the body. For example, if you have an ankle injury, focusing on your upper body can help you stay in shape and develop some new muscle groups.

• Walking. Daily walks can help you stay fit and healthy, as well as stopping you from feeling frustrated about your injury.

• Swimming. As swimming is so low-intensity, it can be useful for both gentle exercise and recovery. As always, consult your doctor beforehand and always stop if something hurts.

Ultimately, you will need to be patient. There’s no quick fix for most injuries and you will need to wait until you’re fully healed before returning to your normal fitness regime.

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