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Don’t Let an Injury Slow You Down

Por Leslie Rodríguez, RD, LD* -

Did you get an injury and think that you have to say good-bye to your exercise routine? Don’t get discouraged! Although it may seem impossible to exercise after an injury, you can still enjoy participating in physical activities.

Better safe than sorry

Instead of weighing your options for exercising after an injury has already occurred, it it is always best to devote time to learning how to prevent sports injuries from happening in the first place. Even though these injuries are unfortunate, they are very common.

To avoid future injuries, we recommend you follow these tips:

  • Always stretch your muscles before exercising.
  • After stretching, start your exercise routine slowly.
  • Don’t exercise at an intensity level which you are not used to.
  • Never lift more weight than you are able to. Moderate training maintained for 30 to 45 minutes is more effective than intense training maintained for a few minutes.
  • Be sure you replace the liquids you have lost through sweat, by drinking sufficient water when you exercise.
  • Keep your heart rate within your heart rate range, which is the number of beats per minute necessary to obtain the maximum cardiovascular benefit from the physical activity. To calculate it, use the following formula:
    • 220 - [your age] x [60% to 85%] (60% relates to the minimum heart rate you should have, and 85%, the maximum).

Sometimes, no matter how much you warm up and how much you take care of yourself, you can still get injured. Still, having an injury doesn’t  mean you have to quit exercising completely.

Creating a physical activity plan after an injury can be a challenge, not only for your body, but also for your creativity. Use the following guidelines and be careful not to worsen the injury or incur new injuries:

  • Consult your physician before starting your plan.
  • Concentrate on using the muscles and parts of your body that are healthy.
  • Exercise your arms and the upper part of your body if your legs are injured. For example, use weights to strengthen your biceps, triceps, your chest, and your back. You can also do abdominal exercises.
  • If you have injured your arms, focus on strengthening your legs by walking or riding a stationary bike.
  • One of the best exercises for people who are injured is swimming, because it doesn’t exert much weight or pressure on the body.

And the most important thing: keep yourself motivated! Your body, regardless of your injuries, can still stay in shape, as long as you are very careful not to overdo it.

Good luck and a fast recovery.

*Specialist in sports nutrition and physical activity of MyDiet™


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