Whether it’s a rolled ankle or a terrible case of the flu that takes you down, none of us is indestructible. When your body is sick, injured or overworked, you can’t perform at your best. But you don’t have to let a rest day turn into a slump, DOMS drag you on a downward spiral or an injury throw you off track. With a bit of know-how and some careful activity, you can recover without sacrificing your fitness goals.
Of course, you should always check with a medical professional first to make sure your body is up to a bit of exercise. If you feel like you can, try these three steps to stay active and stay on track.
1. Change it up
Repetitive actions – doing the same workout until you can’t stand or lift – can lead to injury. The same goes for overtraining. If your calves are crying out and cramping from too much cardio, switch to some upper-body work until you’ve recovered.
If your injury rules out high-impact or resistance training, but you’re keen to stay active, try yoga or Pilates. They build strength and flexibility, particularly in places like the lower back where we need to be strong in order to prevent injury. Centr’s dynamic yoga workouts and Pilates sessions are low-impact options that still offer a physical challenge. As long as you’re doing it safely and not pushing your body past its limits, you can keep improving your fitness while rehabilitating or waiting for an illness to pass.
2. Move it
It’s tough to jump back into workouts after a setback to your health, but it gets harder the longer you leave it. If you can’t manage your usual sessions, or you need to start back slowly, Centr expert Tiffiny Hall has some tips for keeping up your low-impact activity and easing yourself back in:
WALK: Fit it in wherever you can and aim for those 10,000 steps.
STAIRS: If possible, reject the elevator.
INCLINES: Increase the incline on your treadmill or seek out hills when walking.
SCHEDULE: Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to move every hour – squats, stretches, whatever works.
MULTITASK: Do some gentle exercise while you watch TV, like squats and stretches.
3. Build your foundations
Strong foundations will improve your form and shield your body against injuries. For that, we have a specialist training style you should try: Foundation Training.
Created by Centr expert Dr. Eric Goodman to relieve the pain of a bad back, Foundation Training strengthens the posterior chain muscles (including your hamstrings, glutes and delts), retraining your body to take the strain off your spine. It’s not only about pain relief. Foundation Training helps to improve posture and breathing and minimizes the impact of a sedentary lifestyle. It also makes a great alternative to traditional warm-up exercises.
If you have persistent pain in your back or a limb, rather than a one-off injury, Foundation Training may help. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor or physical therapist first.
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