Getting back on track after an injury

“Alright, your timer is coming up. Start building your speed to an all-out intensity,” Apple Fitness+ trainer Scott Carvin chanted energetically through my AirPods. I started increasing the speed on the inclined treadmill as Beyoncé’s Break My Soul blasted. “Leave everything you have on this workout! No regrets!” 

After a stressful day at the office, I still had plenty of energy in my tank for a vigorous workout. But was I ready to go all out? As I started running faster, I felt a very familiar discomfort on the side of my right shin. The same injury that put my running journey on hold for a few weeks. “Sorry Scott, maybe next time” I thought as I slowed down to an easy walk. 

From a minor injury caused by not warming up properly (guilty) to more serious issues with longer recovery periods, coming back to your favourite activity after some time off can be a bit nerve wracking. 

First things first, I’m not a doctor – but I am recovering from an injury and always looking for ways to make progress. So if you’re going through something similar, I know a few things that might help. Here are my top tips to get back on track safely. 

Hold your horses 

You may want to pick up right where you left off, but trying to go as hard as you usually would will only set you back. Let the first few days (or weeks) feel easy, and don’t pressure yourself into doing too much. Even a quick 10-minute stretch counts as a step forwards. 

Pay attention

Tune into your body and make sure the exercises don’t cause you any pain. If you feel the need to slow down or stop altogether, then do it. It might feel frustrating at first, but causing a more severe injury is way worse. 

Warm up and cool down 

These two steps are absolutely essential to recovering and avoiding future lesions – take it from a fellow active person whose injuries are often due to not warming up or cooling down. I don’t want you to learn this the hard way, so try to take 5 minutes to stretch your body before and after your workout. 

Chill out

Last but not least, take it easy and rest as much as you need to. Understand that your body is going through a recovery process, and while you might be eager to sign up for the next weight lifting competition or a fun half marathon with friends, now is not the time to test your limits. 

Be patient with yourself as you work towards your goals. They might seem a bit farther away, but you’ll definitely get there with the right routine and safety measures. You’ve done it before, you can do it again!

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