Exercising While Healing: Can You?
Here at Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa in Peoria, we have countless patients who utilize our physical therapy services to aid in the healing process. Whether you were injured in an auto accident or experience chronic pain (like headaches or sciatica), physical therapy can quicken your recovery time while ensuring that you do not suffer from long-term repercussions.
One question we are often asked is if it is possible to exercise during the healing process. The answer is “it depends”. The severity of your condition will dictate if there are certain activities you must avoid. The key is knowing which exercises are safe to engage in while your body heals. The best thing you can do when you are healing from an injury or other physical ailment is to speak with a chiropractor or physical therapist about the right plan for your condition. For example, if you are recovering from sciatica, you are going to need to avoid lifting and high impact activities for quite some time. However, there will be low impact exercises that will be extremely beneficial to your health.
Ultimately, what exercises are best for you will be hugely dependent upon what part of your body you injured or what surgery you had. The following are some key tips to keep in mind during the healing process to help you stay healthy and fit.
Low Impact Exercise Ideas
In many situations, the exercises you will be given during the healing process will be low impact. These exercises are designed to put little to no impact upon your joints during healing. The following are a few common low impact exercises that might be beneficial for you during healing. As always, consult with your physical therapist or chiropractor before beginning any exercise program.
If you need to keep off your feet and you need to avoid putting stress on your joints, swimming is an excellent activity. Swimming allows you to burn calories, improve strength, and minimize impact to your joints during the healing process. Due to the buoyancy of water, you will not put any undue stress on your joints, allowing them to fully recover. If swimming is beyond your scope of abilities, you can even tread water or take part in a water aerobics class.
Cycling is commonly prescribed for those who are recovering from a knee injury. This activity allows you to implement cardio without putting any weight or impact on your knees. This activity is also easy to tailor to your specific fitness level.
Weights & Resistance Bands
Another great way to keep your physical strength up while recovering from an injury is to implement the use of light weights or resistance bands into your workout. Lifting weights has a myriad of benefits including improved strength, heart health, and mental well-being. The key is to keeping weights light and exercises focused on specific muscle groups to strengthen and stabilize your area of injury. Your physical therapist will guide you on which weight lifting or resistance band exercises are safe for you.
Tips For Faster Recovery
When it comes to alleviating pain and injury recovery, there is one thing we can all agree on — the faster the better. In order to improve your recovery time, implement a few of the following tips.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Exercise
While you don’t want to overdo it when it comes to exercising while healing, don’t be afraid to still partake in physical activities. Unless you have explicit directions from your doctor to stay on bed rest, include exercise in your daily routine. Just keep it simple. This might be as small as a few weight reps from your chair or an easy day of swimming at the pool. Continuing to exercise can help you heal better and remain healthy during the process.
Heed Your Physical Therapist’s Advice
The best thing you can do for your recovery is to work with a physical therapist. Heed the advice they give you and stick to the plan they provide. If they push you to do new exercises, take on that challenge. If they give you dietary advice, implement healthy eating. They know what is best for your healing process.
Keep A Positive Mindset
Finally, retaining a positive mindset during the healing process will go a long way in aiding your recovery. While no one enjoys a setback, don’t let your injury hold you down. Positive thinking and an optimistic outlook have been proven to help with the physical healing of your body.
Need help with recovery from a recent injury or chronic pain? Come visit our physical therapy center in Peoria today.