Injury is an inevitable part of life. This is especially true if you are athletic or otherwise highly active. Even when you get hurt, though, you have to exercise to stay strong while you heal from injury. There are compelling reasons for doing this that fall beyond the scope of merely strengthening the injured area.
For example, if you injure a leg or a foot, which are the most commonly injured parts of the body, you obviously have a weakness in that leg or foot. However, you will also have to exercise your other leg or foot just as much. Here’s why: The strain on the injured side, especially if you wear a cast, will actually cause your muscles on the injured to side to become larger and stronger. Therefore, you should be exercising the uninjured side so that both legs or feet match. Otherwise, if you remove a leg or foot cast after six months of healing, one side will be noticeably more muscular than the other. Although this is especially true of men, who develop muscle more easily, women experience a similar effect.
Exercises to Stay Strong While You Heal
The exercises you can do to stay strong while you heal from injury vary depending on whether you are still mobile or are bedridden or in a mobility apparatus. Let’s begin, then, with the example of breaking your leg in a skiing accident. More than likely, you will be casted or at least have to wear a boot brace.
Thus, you need to build muscle in the opposite leg. For this type of situation, you need to be able to lift weights on the uninjured leg. If you exercise only by walking, the injured leg will grow larger and more muscular. Going to the gym, then, would be optimal. Make sure that you talk to a gym instructor and get guidance on doing leg curls. Weigh the cast if you can, first, so that you know the amount of additional weight you should be lifting on the uninjured side to keep your muscles even.
If you can’t get to the gym, you can sit in a chair with a secure base and cross the injured leg over the other calf. Then, slowly lift the uninjured leg up and down as many times as is comfortable and do not switch sides: the injured side is getting enough of a workout already, and this exercise is serving to even up your two legs.
If you are injured and bedridden, or at least housebound, then you will need weights brought to you so that you can strengthen your whole body while being largely incapacitated. Do curls and, perhaps, calisthenics for resistance training. This builds muscle so that you stay strong while you heal from an injury and your body will not atrophy.