Despite the fact that exercise is good for you, an unfortunate side effect of a regular fitness regime is the increased risk of injury, particularly to your legs. Whether you’re hurt during a contact sport, or you trip on a run and twist your ankle, you’re only a bad fall away from being out of commission for a while. If you managed to hit your stride before your accident, you might be eager to get back into exercise as soon as possible, but here are the things you should do to ease yourself back into it.
Get treated immediately
The second you fall and can’t put any weight on your leg, then you need to go to the emergency room. If you think it’s a broken bone, try to control the bleeding while you wait for an ambulance. Remove any anklets or rings, and splint the leg to protect it from further injury but don’t try to straighten it even if the bone is sticking out. Various complications can occur with fractures depending on the bone, the severity of the break, and the person's age. If you were injured in a gym and you suspect that the facility is at fault, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer about compensation, especially if your injury will prevent you from working. Once you arrive at the hospital, your doctor will assess the injury, apply a cast, and give you some local anesthetic if the pain is too much. When you’re ready to be discharged your doctor will also give you instructions on how to care for your cast.
Start with low impact workouts
When the doctor gives you a clean bill of health, you should gently ease back into your routine. Avoid high impact sports such as running, contact sports, and gymnastics, because they put more stress on your joints. Start off with a low impact workout, such as walking on a treadmill, an elliptical machine, or a trip to the local swimming pool. Always remember the 10 percent rule when you’re coming back after an injury; if you were able to run 20 minutes three times a week after your accident, you should be able to run 22 minutes three times week by the following week. You should not attempt to do 30 minutes the following week, as that could cause you further harm.
Even if you feel fine, it’s clear that another injury is the last thing you want or need. Try to minimize the risk of injury as much as possible by wearing ankle supports, knee braces, and making sure you stretch before you exercise. If you start feeling extremely sore or exhausted from your workout, then take a break. This is not the time to push through the pain. Depending on your injury, it could take a month or longer for your body to be back to its peak condition, and that’s only if you don’t hurt yourself further by trying to prove that you’re completely healed.