Working Out After Suffering a Foot or Ankle Injury
You’ve been on the bench for several weeks now as you recover from a recent foot or ankle injury. As a result of your inactivity, you’ve noticed that your waistline has grown and your muscles have weakened. The good news in all of this, however, is that you can rebuild muscle mass and shrink your waistline with daily physical fitness. To ensure you don’t injure yourself further or hinder your recovery process, there are a few things you need to do first.
Follow Doctor’s Orders
It’s great that you want to start working out. In fact, regular physical activity is often required to help strengthen muscles and speed the recovery process after an injury. Be that as it may, working out too soon will cause more injury and prolong your recovery process. So, whatever instructions your doctor has provided you as it pertains to physical activity, be sure to follow it. In other words, make sure you have permission from the doctor to work out.
Get the Appropriate Footwear
Right now, your foot and ankle are very sensitive and could easily get damaged during a workout. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you have the appropriate footwear and support devices. This means investing in quality athletic shoes with arch and ankle support. If you’re wearing an AFO, you may need socks for orthosis for added protection and comfort during your workouts.
Start with Light Activities
Before your injury, you may have been used to running for several miles or lighting quite a bit of weight during your fitness routines. Don’t make the mistake, however, of trying to work out with the same intensity. Remember, your body has been inactive for some time and one of the most important parts (foot and ankle) is recovering from injury. Pushing yourself too hard will only cause you to get hurt. So, start with light activities. Take a walk around the block, work on foot and ankle stretches for 15 minutes, swim a lap or two in the pool, or try a few yoga poses. Then, as your body adapts and your muscles strengthen, then you can increase your activity and intensity.
Be Mindful of Pain
If you’re working out and start to feel some pain, it is important not to ignore this. Pain is your body’s way of letting you know something is going wrong. This is especially true if you start to feel pain in your feet or ankles. As you’re working out, if you feel pain or discomfort, it is recommended that you adjust your range of motion, reduce the weight, lower the intensity, or stop. Pushing through the pain can result in you making the injury worse.
Consider Working Out with an Expert
To avoid the risk of injury and increase the effectiveness of each workout, it may be best to work with an expert. A physical therapist or personal trainer (specializing in injuries) are skilled professionals who can provide you with proper support. From helping you to develop a safe and effective workout routine to assisting you with proper form and giving you motivation, they can help you to get back into fitness and achieve your goals.
Exercising is one of the best ways to recover after suffering from a foot or ankle injury. It can help to strengthen weak muscles, improve your range of motion, and speed up your recovery process. In order for fitness to be an effective solution, however, it is imperative that you’ve taken all the measures listed above to remain safe.