Now we need to switch gears and discuss what we can do or not do if we become injured or develop a sickness or disease.
Do we stop working out altogether or do we come up with alternatives or modifications to our exercise routines?
First off, depending on what our restrictions are – whether it be a sprained ankle, a shoulder injury, cancer or heart disease – we need to discuss these with our doctors. Of course, in the fitness world, if it’s not a major injury we recommend the RICE theory – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Some injuries might require more rest, but now doctors are definitely encouraging people to get back to some kind of exercise routine as soon as possible, even after surgery.
Once we’ve been given the green light, what do we do? Depending on the situation, we start back slowly and carefully. Remember, we need to get stronger, not re-injure ourselves.
For example, if we have a leg injury, we could sit on a chair or bench at the gym and do some upper body exercises with lighter weights. If there’s an arm injury, we could do some cardio, like walking, running, lunges, squats and even some upper body exercises without weights. If we are having lower back problems, we could do some pilates or yoga and stretching exercises. The key is to do something.
Years ago, doctors prescribed total bed rest for any people recovering from any injury or illnesses. Now, research shows it’s better – both mentally and physically – to start some kind of workout routine in order to aid in the recovery process.
As you know, I started a wellness program at World Gym, Wantagh about four years ago for people battling breast cancer. Knowing that these cancer survivors, some still undergoing chemo and radiation would have good and bad days, World Gym was generous and gracious enough to offer this program to the public for $5 per class when they feel good enough to come and work out.
It started out for cancer survivors and we now have expanded it to include any person with special needs — people with permanent injuries, people who suffer from heart disease or other illnesses, people who are obese and never worked out before, any person who can’t be mainstreamed in a regular fitness class. It continues to be a successful program at World Gym.
If there are any questions on your specific restrictions or if anyone wants more information on the wellness program at World Gym, please contact me or World Gym, Wantagh.