How to Exercise When You Have an Injury or Pain

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by Lynn Hetzler

Do you need to work out, but are afraid to exercise because of pain or injury? Fluid Running is your answer!

Exercising with an injury may seem like a catch-22, where gentle exercise can promote healing but the pain and stiffness of an injury can prevent you from exercising. Furthermore, exercising incorrectly or with too much vigor can damage healing tissue to cause even more pain.

Continuing your regular exercise regimen is important, though. Aside from promoting healing, regular exercise helps you maintain your overall fitness while you recover – stay away from your exercise routine too long, and you will lose ground on achieving your fitness goals. Research shows that even a short layoff in training can decrease athletic performance in measurable amounts.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, shows that a 6-week layoff in training could decrease VO2max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen you use during exercise and a common measurement of aerobic endurance. In that study, endurance athletes lost 7 percent of their VO2max in the first 21 days of inactivity and had lost 16 percent after 56 days. Inactivity can also cause decreased blood volume, heart rate and endurance performance.

However, jumping back into your normal workout routines can worsen your pain or injury. Muscles and connective tissue weakened by injury tend to be weaker and more vulnerable to damage, which means you are more prone to re-injury during your normal workouts. This is particularly true for pain or injuries affecting the lower body – the impact of running, jumping, and even pedaling a bicycle can lead to re-injury.

Exercising While Injured or In Pain

Fortunately, you can exercise and maintain your fitness when you have an injury or pain, but only if you work out in the right way. Therapeutic workouts can strengthen muscles and promote the healing of damaged connective tissue. High resistance exercises are the best for working muscles, but these exercises should be no impact to reduce the risk of re-injury. Deep water running, is that exercise. It’s one of the best ways to maintain cardiovascular fitness, especially when an injury or illness prevents you from hitting the gym treadmill or going for your morning jog.

Fluid Running has made deep water running even better by creating instructional videos and coached workouts. Fluid Running involves the use of a special flotation running belt that suspends you at shoulder level in deep water. Because your feet never touch the floor of the pool, deep water running does not cause stress to your joints. The buoyancy of the water completely eliminates the impact that your joints sustain when you run on a street or a treadmill, yet water adds the added benefit of 800 times more resistance than air. Mimicking land running form, the body must engage the core, arms, legs and glutes to power through the resistance. This not only strengthens those muscles, but gives your heart a good workout as well.

Sustaining an injury or recovering from illness or surgery can be painful and frustrating. Having to give up regular exercise can add additional frustration. Fluid Running allows you not only to exercise regularly during recovery, it increases strength and cardio endurance as well.

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