Should you exercise through injury?
I get asked many times about continuing to exercise despite being injured. This is definitely a loaded question. If you want to know how hard you can push yourself while dealing with pain, that concept is beyond the content in this post.
Today’s post is about what to do when you perform full body exercise on a regular basis and go and break your arm.
I would like to quickly highlight the inspiration of this post today- coach, teammate and friend, Miss. Adrienne Itri. This girl can not catch a break! She has been prepping for months for a competition this past weekend, training harder than ever and feeling the healthiest she has in a long time. She got there and gave it her all in event 1..… and broke her elbow. It was a fluke accident and could have happened to any of us. She is quite a trooper and a team player, however, showing up at the competition later that afternoon (following her trip to the hospital) AND the next day to cheer us on. No better teammate than that!
Hats off to you my good friend, I will help you every step of the way in this healing process!
Back to the post… I will be listing a few tips about the benefits of exercising around injury!
First piece of advice is… There is hope!
The good thing about functional fitness, is that there is a plethora of modifications that can be made to any exercise routine. These modifications can continue to allow for stimulation of muscle growth and improvements in endurance.
You won’t be doing exactly what you did before, but it will be damn near close.
Second, general exercise stimulate healing…
When you have an area of your body that needs some time to heal, it needs just that, time to heal. However, if you allow the other working parts of your body to exercise, you can stimulate the healing process of the injured region. It works through hormonal, heart rate and blood pressure stimulation.
Third, train the non-injured extremity…
There is a ton of research that shows strengthening the non-injured side can actually improve the strength of the injured side. In Adrienne’s case, she will be instructed to continue to perform as much strength training as she can using her right arm. Sure, the left arm will continue to have strength loss, however, training the right side will actually deaden the impact of not using her left arm for the next 6 weeks.
Fourth and final…
We all know that we FEEL better when we exercise. It increases endorphins, or your “feel good” hormones. If we are down and out because of a broken arm, we will feel even worse if we stay home and do nothing. So, if you are injured, please seek some advice from a trained professional who understands your injury and can help you create a modified program for the next few weeks of recovery!