For active bodies and athletes, an injury can really slow down the progress of fitness goals. Whether you are training for an event, play on a team, or you are trying to reach a certain weight goal, an injury can’t be ignored. While an injury should be properly treated, there will come a time when you are able to return to your workouts, but it’s important to begin with low-impact workouts that won’t overtax your body or make your injury worse. Not only will continuing an exercise regimen make it easier to stay in good health during your recovery, but it will also help you get back on track with your fitness goals. Read on for a few ideas of low-impact workouts to try while you are making your way back from an injury.
Use an Elliptical Trainer to Minimize Shock
If you like running and lower body cardio, consider using an elliptical training machine for a low-impact alternative to running. Elliptical machines work all the same muscle groups as running like quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves, while giving your body a cardiovascular workout as well. However, when working out on an elliptical machine, your feet never leave contact with the machine. Because of this, your body isn’t continually absorbing the shock of landing as it does when running. This eliminates most of the stress placed on the bones and muscles of your core and lower body.
Swim for Super Low-Impact Muscle Building and Cardio in One
Swimming is an excellent exercise that helps build muscle and makes for a great cardio workout. Because you’re moving through water, you’re not making any motions that jar your musculoskeletal system, making swimming extremely low impact. Swimming also gets your heart rate up, which makes for a great cardio workout. According to professionals at swimming lesson centers in Houston, the resistance of the water makes your muscles work harder, which helps you build muscle just as weight-bearing exercises do.
Walk to Keep Your Body Moving
Although it might seem too easy, walking is a fantastic low-impact workout that most people overlook because of its simplicity. Leisurely walking simply keeps your blood pumping and ensures that your muscles keep getting used. Slow walking is especially good if you can’t take on anything more strenuous during your recovery. You can also speed up your walk for a better workout for your heart, muscles and cardiovascular system as well. This is a safe form of exercise during the first few weeks of recovery. You can’t just jump back into your old workouts—it will take time to get your body back where it was.
Hop on a Bicycle for a Cardio and Leg Workout
Cycling also provides a low-impact workout that builds leg muscles at the same time. Whether you’re at the gym or outdoors on a road or mountain bike, you’ll work all the muscles in your legs as well as some others in your core, back and upper body as well. If your injury has weakened some of your muscles, it is best to try a stationary bike first. This is a tame workout that will ensure you don’t fall over, or over-exert your injured body. Then, as you continue to heal, you can make the workout as hard or easy as you like, by changing the resistance on the bike.
If you’ve recently sustained an injury or just gotten the clear that it’s okay to start working out again, make sure to begin with a low-impact workout routine to ease yourself back into exercise. Jumping to a high-impact exercise routine right away might jeopardize your recovery or cause you to re-injure yourself. If you take things slow and steady, but make an effort to keep your body in motion, you’ll experience a safe recovery—giving you a better chance of reaching your fitness goals in the future.