Whether the result of a traumatic injury or an age-related medical condition, many individuals find themselves unable to fully participate in the sports activities they once loved. However, just because you’re no longer able to run marathons or squat 400 pounds at the gym doesn’t mean you can’t maintain some level of physical fitness. Here are a few simple ideas to help you stay fit and continue to enjoy healthy exercise.
There’s no denying that some sports are more prone to causing injury than others. Rather than risk re-injuring yourself, you could try new activities such as indoor golf. Such sports may not provide as intense of a workout as basketball or football, but they still help you hone your mental focus as you learn to develop a different set of skills — a key attribute of any sport. Best of all, these activities are fun, and many of them can be enjoyed with family and friends.
By participating in less strenuous sporting activities like indoor golf or bowling, you can still enjoy many of the mental and emotional benefits of participating in sports, without the risk of worsening your injury.
Of course, you don’t want to let your physical fitness fall by the wayside after suffering an injury. Naturally, you should always follow any guidelines provided by a doctor — especially those exercises designed to directly address your injury.
Because so many sports-related injuries affect the joints, it is typically best to seek a “low-impact” exercise during the recovery process. This doesn’t mean that the exercises won’t provide much of a workout — rather, it simply means that they won’t cause further pressure or strain to the injured area.
Swimming is one of the most commonly recommended exercises for this purpose, as it provides an intense aerobic exercise without causing any impact on the joints. Many recovering from injury may also try running in a shallow pool. Many doctors will also provide a regimen of stretching exercises designed to strengthen the muscles in the injured area. Yoga and pilates can be especially effective in stretching muscles and providing a low-impact aerobic exercise.
Depending on your condition, participating in a less intense exercise routine for a set amount of time may be key to your overall recovery. As you follow guidelines given by your doctor and become proactive in participating in healthy physical activities, you can restore a sense of overall well-being and possibly return to some of the sports that you had to give up.