By Sara Blagden

Whether you’re recovering from an injury from training or from an illness, you’ve probably been out of action for a while. You may be itching to get back into the swing of things again, but jumping in full throttle isn’t always the best idea. Your comeback plan should include these steps..

Get the OK from your Doctor or Physio.

You might think you’re ready, but are you really? It’s important to speak to your Physician before you get those trainers back on. If you’ve been working with a Physio or another sports professional, speak to them too. Your Therapist should have given you some specific moves and exercises to strengthen and stretch the injured area. You shouldn’t return to activity until any pain, swelling or stiffness has significantly reduced or disappeared. Pushing yourself before you’re ready could hinder your recovery and even make your injury worse. Make sure you get the green light from an expert first!

Mentally prepare yourself

Once your Doctor or Therapist has given you the all-clear, it’s normal to spend some time thinking about how and why you got injured and what, if anything you might do differently now. Did you push your body beyond its limits? I think we’re all guilty of that sometimes. You get a little niggle which you ignore for a while, you keep training and before you know where you are, you’re booking Physio appointments and out of action for a few weeks! Always take time for rest and recovery. It’s so important! It’s also important to stay positive. Most injuries are temporary so remind yourself that you will return to your training soon! It may just take a little time to regain the strength you had.

Don’t rush it.

Before your injury or illness, you may have been able to run 10 miles, or deadlift 80kg. You’ll very likely be able to get back to that, but you will need to be patient whilst you recover. It’s a good idea to start at about 50% of your usual level and increase by about 10% each week as long as your symptoms don’t flare up afterwards. So if you were deadlifting 80kg, you might scale back to 40kg and then add a little more weight each week as you progress. Also, take the time to warm up and cool down after any activity.

Mix it up a bit

If you’ve been suffering from an injury confined to a particular area, try doing a variety of activities that work different parts of your body. This can help you stay fit while the part of your body is injured heals and regains its strength. If you hurt your knee whilst running, consider a low impact activity such as swimming, or if you want to keep your cardio up, perhaps jump on a cross-trainer.

Most importantly, listen to your body!

A little discomfort is to be expected; depending on what you’re doing, you’re going to be working some of your muscles pretty hard! But if you’re feeling any pain, you should stop! If you’re still in pain some time after your workout, take that as a sign you’ve pushed yourself too far. If you need to rest for a day or so, do it and when you start again, don’t feel bad about scaling things back. You’ll come back much quicker and stronger!

If you are suffering from an injury, or looking to return to fitness after a break, give us a call on 01279 899 836 to see how we can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.