Anyone who’s suffered a debilitating injury knows how difficult the recovery period can be. Doctors and specialists will recommend the importance of exercising when possible to stimulate muscle recovery but that can be very difficult if not approached the right way. If you wish to return to work feeling fit and capable for the work then you need to stimulate your muscles and keep them moving, otherwise returning to work can be even worse than the recovery period
The longer you spend inactive the more muscle atrophy you will suffer. This occurs in two ways. Disuse atrophy in which the muscles waste away from lack of movement or exercise and Neurogenic atrophy in which they waste away due to an injury. It’s important in the recovery period that you listen to your body. If you’ve just had a cast removed it will be some time until you can flex it properly and do some exercises. Other factors that will influence your recovery time include gender, age previous injuries and fitness level prior to the injury.
To make the process as easy as possible follow these steps. Always consult your doctor about steps in recovery.
At first take it slow
Allow time for your brain and body to communicate again. After prolonged under-use, it can take some time before you can make a limb respond to what you want. Be patient and give it time
Start with light cardio
When you feel ready to move again begin with some light cardio. As the old saying go’s “You have to walk before you can run.” Start with some walking to get your limbs moving and as you regain flexibility move up to swimming which can also help.
Consider hiring a personal trainer
By hiring a personal trainer you’ll have someone who can assess what your needs are and what exercises to follow. They have vast knowledge of muscles and fitness to know what works best for each person. This can make a big difference if the recovery is particularly difficult as they can determine areas of muscle weakness that need attention and guide you from one level to the next in recovery.
Keep yourself well fed and hydrated
In order to keep your strength up, you need to stay well fed on a healthy diet. A high-carb low-fat diet can be very effective for maintaining energy levels as you’ll need all you can to speed recovery. Greater nutrition will give your muscles the subsistence they need to properly recover. A personal trainer can also assist with this providing the right recommendations. Keep well hydrated as well.
Move up to strength training
As you regain strength start to practice some weight lifting. If your job is labor intensive then you need to get your muscles flexing again otherwise the first week back at work will be hell. Start with dumbbells before moving up to weights. Take things slowly at first and be careful not to overexert yourself.