Regular physical activity is an important part of living a healthy life. For those who were forced to take time off due to an injury, coming back may seem like a daunting task. For type ‘A’ personalities, the urge to hit the ground running could be intense. Regardless of your injury, specific steps should be followed when returning to exercise post injury so the pain does not come back. Talk to your Doctor/Physical Therapist Talk to a medical professional and get a “go ahead” from them first. They can guide you in terms of what to focus on and what to avoid (either temporary or permanently). Understand Your Injury If you are serious about making a full recovery, you need to understand why the injury occurred in the first place. It also makes sense to find out what other areas are affected. In talking with a doctor, you will hopefully uncover this information. Injuries commonly occur due to muscle imbalances, tightness, previous injury, improper technique or a combination of several of these reasons. Understanding what is going on is necessary to have a proper plan of action. If you have any questions, or want a consultation with a professional, feel free to call, or schedule an appointment online at any of our Bergen County or Passaic County offices in New Jersey. Choose from Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes, Fair Lawn, Ridgewood/Ho-Ho-Kus, and/or Clifton – we make it possible for you to visit any of our offices at your convenience. Work With A Personal Trainer Trainers can tailor workout programs specific to your needs, monitor your progress, and ensure proper lifting technique, which is absolutely necessary for those coming back to exercise post injury. Start Slow With Exercise Post Injury For people who are driven this may be a hard pill to swallow. Understandably, after taking time off from exercising you may be ready to jump in. Getting back to your previous state before injury will not occur overnight because the body is not designed that way. What you need is patience, and a consistent and progressive workout routine. Any movement that causes pain, discomfort, or doubt should be avoided or modified. As you progress, you can start adding exercises back in, but first get your body used to moving regularly. Warm Up Well A general warm up should be part of EVERY workout session. Foam Rolling, static and dynamic stretching, and activation exercises should become part of your routine. At the very least, get on a treadmill or bike and get your blood flowing for 5-10 minutes. Not only will your workout be more effective but you will be less likely to get hurt. The last thing you want to do is workout with stiff muscles. Listen to your Body Do not ignore pain when it comes up. These are signals that something is going on, like a check engine light on the dash of your car. Inflammation, pain, and soreness (not workout related) are signs that it may be time to talk to a physical therapist.