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?