How to Ease Back into Exercise After an Injury

by Alli

This post, Exercise Injury, is compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishWhatsNext #CollectiveBias

The morning after my daughter’s beautiful wedding, I awoke with excruciating back pain. The pain was much worse than an overworked muscle. I could barely walk.

To top things off, I was leaving that morning to spend a week with my dad because my mom had suddenly passed away exactly a week before the wedding. After the funeral, my family agreed that the wedding must go on and dad actually made it to the weekend event.

How to Ease Back into Exercise After an Injury

MRI And The Big Reveal

As soon as I returned home from my dad’s house, my doctor ordered an MRI. Test results revealed a herniated disc and two bulging discs in my lower back.

During six weeks of intense four-days-a-week physical therapy and other procedures, I was instructed to take it easy – meaning no bending, no sweeping, no mopping the floors and no exercise of any form.

Now that I’m done with physical therapy and feeling much better, it’s time to regain my strength and reverse the nerve damage in my left leg.

My doctor and I have the ultimate goal of walking three miles on most days. At the time I’m up to 1/2 a mile. Hey, I’m making progress. I’ve moved up from 1/4 of a mile.

My son is getting married in the fall and I plan to be able to walk down the aisle without a limp. I’m incorporating a plan to fortify me for what’s ahead.

How to Ease Back into Exercise After a Setback

1.  Take it Easy

Rome wasn’t built in a day! My Dr. explained to me that overdoing things could hinder my progress and cause additional pain and injury. Starting out at 1/4 mile a day sounds pathetic, but when you are recovering from a severe injury, take it slow. Your body will thank you!

2. Find an Activity you Enjoy

Ease back into Exercise

I had rather walk than run. My daughter is a runner and loves it. I’m looking forward to building up my speed as well as my time on the treadmill.

3. Try the Buddy System

Working out with a friend is much more fun than trying to go it alone. A friend will help motivate you and encourage you when the going gets tough.

4. Get Your Zzz’s

Studies show that getting enough sleep can boost your energy levels and drop stress levels.

5. Take a Rest Day

My rest day is Sunday. It’s a day of connecting with the family and taking things nice and slow. It helps me prepare and gear up for Monday.

6. Proper Nourishment

How to Ease Back into Exercise after an Injury

I’ve found that if I fuel my inner strength, I have more stamina and am able to go the distance when I’m exercising. That’s why I never skip breakfast.

How to Ease Back into Exercise after an Injury

Because I exercise very early in the morning, right after I get up, a Kellogg’s® Special K® Protein Shake is perfect to fuel me for what’s ahead. You can find it at Kroger in the pharmacy area.

After working out, showering and getting dressed, it’s time for breakfast. My favorite breakfast is Kellogg’s® Special K® Nourish® Apple Raspberry Almond Cereal.

Favorite Breakfast - Special K - Ease into Exercise

You can find Kellogg’s Special K at Kroger on the cereal aisle. I add almond milk to the whole wheat flakes with quinoa and I’m ready to face my day.


7. Set Goals

Never skip breakfast - Ease into Exercise

In order to stay focused, I set specific goals. I feel even more motivated when I meet my goals for the week.

For example, my short-term goal is to be able to enjoy my son’s fall wedding without any pain. My long-term goal is to be completely pain-free.

I’ve included a free printable to help you reach your own goals: Weekly Goal Tracker

Weekly Goal Tracker - How to Ease into Exercise after an Injury

8. Reward Yourself

Once you reach a goal, get a pedicure or a deep-tissue massage. Your body is working hard and deserves a little TLC. What about adding to your workout wardrobe with the latest, greatest athletic socks or a new pair of walking shoes?

9. Give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve got this!

Sometimes we’re tempted to get discouraged when we don’t meet our daily or weekly goals. These are the days we need to give ourselves a pat on the back and think about how far we’ve come, knowing that we’re eating right, easing back into exercise and fortified for what’s ahead.

How to Ease Back into Exercise

Are you currently working on exercise goals for fall? How do you fortify yourself?




Jaime Nicole August 30, 2016 - 6:54 am

Setting goals is so important! I find that even when I go into an individual workout with a goal, I do better.

Heather Lawrence August 30, 2016 - 9:35 am

Oouch!! That sounds incredibly painful! At least it didn’t happen at your daughter’s wedding.
I am so so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing.
Your doctor has you walking…are you able to do yoga or something similar to help strengthen those muscles?

Jennifer August 30, 2016 - 9:54 am

Hurting your back is not fun. My husband did a few years back, and he is stubborn and wanted to do more than he should. I wish you would have posted this back then!

Mimi Green August 30, 2016 - 11:00 am

Nice to hear you are getting back to a normal routine. Getting proper sleep has been a big goal for me. I don’t know why it’s such a struggle.

Dee August 30, 2016 - 11:18 am

I have found the best way to get back into the groove is to get a lot of rest and to take thing slowly so that I don’t hurt yourself again.

lisa August 30, 2016 - 12:50 pm

Rest and nutrition are so important when working out. I am very careful not to push too hard the older I get so I can avoid injury.

dana vento August 30, 2016 - 12:58 pm

After Plantar Fasciitis last year and a cast for months it took forever to ease back into exercise. I have to tell you I am into it now but it was little by little.

Franc Ramon August 30, 2016 - 1:06 pm

Rest and recovery is always part of the fitness cycle. It’s really important to take it easy at some points.

Jeanette August 30, 2016 - 1:12 pm

I have not been injured, but I took some time off from exercise and now I’m just getting started again. I think these tips could work well for someone just getting started to thank you for sharing.

Deann Sarmiento August 30, 2016 - 2:29 pm

Thank you for this wonderful piece of advice! The tracker will surely help a lot. Will keep in mind the tips you said on this post. I haven’t been injured, but I hope I won’t be in the future! It is best to keep ourselves healthy at all times!

Cristi Comes August 30, 2016 - 3:06 pm

Oh goodness Alli you had quite a stressful time. I’m so sorry about your mom, and your back too! I also have low back disk issues so I KNOW what that’s like. Good luck recovering. {client}

Liz Mays August 30, 2016 - 9:07 pm

I think these are helpful ideas. Having a clear plan and goals to get me back into the routine would help a lot.

Sarah August 30, 2016 - 9:25 pm

I am certain these tips will help many people are trying to ease back into their fitness routine after an injury!

Gwendolyn Mulholland August 30, 2016 - 9:56 pm

It is always a hard thing to get back into exercising after an injury. It is important to make sure you take the time to heal and ease yourself back into it.

Olivia Douglass August 30, 2016 - 10:01 pm

These are great tips! I know that when I get injured it is hard for me to get back in the game. I’ll be sure to try these tips! 🙂

Bart & Eena August 31, 2016 - 5:31 am

This is truly helpful and inspirational! We believe this is not just for injuries, because as people who are losing hope this may be an option too to get back in the game. 🙂

zan August 31, 2016 - 7:35 am

Oh Alli, I hope you get full recovery. Back injuries are really something. I am glad you are taking it slowly as your doc recommends – yes 1/4 mile at a time goes a long way. Eating healthy and sleeping well are great ways to help your body gain the strength it needs. So glad you are staying on top of things by keeping a goal track so there won’t be further injuries is such a great idea.

Alli August 31, 2016 - 2:20 pm

Thanks, Zan! I’m on the way to full recovery! Just knowing the excruciating pain is gone is a great relief. I’m regaining my strength and hope to eventually be back better than ever.

Rebecca Swenor August 31, 2016 - 7:36 am

These are great tips for getting back into exercising after an injury. I love the idea of the weekly day planner and I really truly believe we all do better when we plan along with setting goals for yourselves too. It is so important not to over due and to take every other day off from exercising in the being after an injury. Thanks for sharing the tips.

Shirley Wood August 31, 2016 - 10:10 am

That back pain is no joke! I’ve been dealing with similar issues for many years including herniated discs and multiple disc bulges. They don’t flare up as often as they used to but I have been on my hands and knees crawling through the house because I couldn’t even stand up sometimes. I give a big two thumbs up to the physical therapy! It helped me a lot. I also did decompression therapy and if need be, would do it again.
I love Special K and appreciate the reminder. I’m putting it on my grocery list right now! I’ll be back walking again too as soon as the heat cools down some.

Alli August 31, 2016 - 10:21 am

I didn’t go into details of all the therapy I received, including the decompression table. I remember crying during the trip to Charlotte the first time because I was in so much pain. I could barely walk and the nerve pain running down my left leg was almost unbearable. I have to be very careful when doing housework, etc. and I miss working in my garden. As my left leg gets stronger and with much prayer, I’ll be back at it soon. 🙂

Robin Rue August 31, 2016 - 11:17 am

Setting small goals to get back into working out is important. I know that when my knee was acting up I had to take it slow and move back into activities that I was used to.

Michele d August 31, 2016 - 11:59 am

Great ideas for exercising goals. I injured my foot/ankle by running recently so I won’t be exercising anytime soon.

rika August 31, 2016 - 2:18 pm

Great tips. I also suffer from back pain and still looking for the right treatment. This Kellogg product looks tasty, haven’t tried it out yet!

yvonne galindo September 6, 2016 - 10:03 pm

Good health with exercise#NourichWhatsNext

Tammy Reed September 6, 2016 - 10:07 pm

Great tips, thanks. I’m going to study this further after a foot injury has be sidelined. Thanks!

Brittany D. September 6, 2016 - 10:08 pm

Special K is a staple in my household #NourishWhat’sNext

suzy BERTRAND September 6, 2016 - 10:29 pm

I wish I could find special k concentrate from along time ago

suzy BERTRAND September 6, 2016 - 10:31 pm

#NourishWhat’sNext I forgot

Geri September 7, 2016 - 1:40 am

#NourishWhat’sNext We love Special K!

Niki Petersen September 7, 2016 - 2:15 am

Setting weekly goals is so important. It is a great motivator and you never feel too overwhelmed. #NourishWhat’sNext

Niki Petersen September 7, 2016 - 2:25 am

Setting weekly goals is so important. It is a great way to motivate yourself, and you never get too overwhelmed. #NourishWhat’sNext


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