With rates of COVID-19 rising, flu season and the deconditioning that may have happened over the past year, chances are you have found yourself wanting to start exercising again, but worried about getting injured, feeling more tired or not being able to find the motivation.
How do you restart exercise after an injury or illness without causing a setback?
First, listen to what your body is saying about what it needs most right now. Often the loss of flexibility and increased stiffness is most limiting. Taking a week to do some light stretch breaks throughout the day can be a great way to prepare your body for doing strength and cardio again.
Second, start small. Short bouts of exercise spread out throughout the day is much easier on your body than one longer bout. The benefits are similar, but your body gets the extra recovery time it needs. If that is not possible, start with every other day so your body gets a day of rest.
Third, listen to your body. Yes, this bears repeating! As you start and progress, your brain will overestimate what you could and should do. Your body will tell you the truth about what it can do and what it needs right now. Stay present. Pushing through pain or fatigue only makes more work for your body which slows the healing process.
Lastly, keep track of what you are doing and how you are feeling. This may seem tedious but it is a great way to help your brain listen to your body more clearly. Keep a journal of what you did, how you felt immediately after and how you felt the next day. It can make a huge difference in seeing that you are in fact making progress, and help you see clearly how to best restart exercising after an injury or illness.
Keep Moving, Be Well,