“We sit at breakfast, we sit on the train to work, we sit at work, we sit at lunch, we sit all afternoon…a hodgepodge of sagging livers, sinking gall bladders, drooping stomachs, compressed intestines, and squashed pelvic organs.” -John Button JR. Why just sit around and let your body fall out of shape? Instead, why don’t you let your injury heal while you keep on moving? For instance, patients recovering for a surgery or injury may take full advantage of “resting,” but is that really helping you recover? You will feel so much better if you keep as active as possible throughout the recovery process.
There are a few things to remember when you start up your exercise regime- take your time and start slow. There is a lot more you can do with a leg that’s out of order than you think. Muscles begin to lose strength and bones lose calcium within 24 hours of bed rest. What are you waiting for? Start exercising now. A little more than a week in bed, and your heart output declined 16 percent. Each day of immobility will take two days of exercise to regain lost function and strength.
Always ask what exercise routine would be best for you and your situation. We always do our best to alter workouts to make them fun for each client. Even if you are coming off of a serious injury or surgery there are plenty of exercises that can be done to help maintain the rest of your body. Don’t be afraid to ask what you can do to stay healthy.
1- Estimated Time of Recovery
Ask your physician or surgeon for an estimated time of recovery following an injury. Don’t be disappointed if the ETR is not what you wanted to hear. Once rehabilitation begins the ETR can change for the better.
Before starting your road to recovery analyze your situation. Understand that your injury is going to take time for you to fully recover and regain total strength. You’re not superhuman and won’t be recovered in a week. It’s better to project a longer recovery time, this way you will feel wonderful about your progress.
Recovery is a long road, once you visit your physical therapist you will most likely be given exercises at home to do. In many cases, exercise will have to become a part of your daily routine for months or years to come. A lifelong fitness program can promote recovery as well as provide additional health benefits.
3- Returning to Fitness
After you’ve finished your recovery the final step is returning back to fitness. Many doctors overlook this step when they tell you your estimated time to return back to activities but not back to fitness. More times than not this will take weeks to come if not several more months. Don’t panic, just remember that doing exercise for months to fully recover is better than no recovery.
Rehabilitation can be discouraging if you don’t set realistic goals for yourself. Know where you want to be in terms of activity and let your physical therapist know so they can help you come up with a realistic ETR. Stay positive throughout the process, you can do it!