Rebuilding strength and flexibility after an accident can be incredibly frustrating. However, if you push too hard, you could reinjure yourself. Take it slow while keeping your eye on the long-term goal of returning to full fitness and health.
Work with a Professional
Even if you had a solid workout schedule in the past, your form may have been changed by the accident. Any workout moves based on poor form put you at risk of another injury. A personal trainer can help you find proper alignment as you rebuild your workout schedule and find your strength again. This process may feel very slow. Your trainer will likely have you work with small weights or no weight at all as your body finds its new normal. Understand that you are building a strong foundation for your new fitness goals, and give yourself the time you need to rebuild your alignment before boosting weight.
Depending on the nature of your accident, you may have nerve damage or even scar tissue to contend with. It’s critical that you take it slow as you rebuild your strength. Your injury may have left you with the habit of favoring one portion or side of your body. This favoring has probably changed your physical alignment, so part of your new workout process will be to bring your body back into balance. Small misalignments can lead to big problems as you try to rebuild your strength. Even injuries that seem minor, like whiplash, can have a severe impact on you. You must learn to move slowly and develop the proper form with very light weights or no weights at all at the start. The accident has probably left your body with a new feeling of what your normal alignment is, so you will either have to adjust to that or try to move back into your previous way of moving. Either way, work slowly and gently to avoid additional damage.
Try Something New
If you’re going to have to rebuild your strength anyway, treat yourself to a new type of workout. You might want to try working out in the pool to take the stress off your spine and joints. Or, find a gentle yoga class. Many senior centers offer classes for balance and strength that are open to anyone who wants to attend. These classes often feature teachers who will meet you where you are as you work to regain your previous level of fitness. If a new workout doesn’t appeal to you, use all of the fitness tools available to assist yourself. If you used to do yoga, try to do it near a wall or with a chair if you need it for balance.
If you’ve been in an accident and want to get back to your workouts, good for you. You’ve decided to take control of your life and fitness. Be sure to take things slowly and work with a professional who can help you protect yourself against any further injury.