I have started my journey a million times. Every time I thought I needed to start strong. Every time I ended up giving up.
My major mistake was not listening to my body and not allowing myself the time I needed to make myself strong. When you’re new to exercise, especially when you have an injury of any kind, pushing yourself to go hard out at the beginning can be damaging.
It’s so tempting to watch videos of people doing amazing work out routines and thinking you need to do the same. Realistically you are not prepared to do that until well into your fitness journey. You’re going to end up hurting yourself physically as well as emotionally. It can be soul destroying to try your best, push yourself as hard as possible and feel like you’re failing. The old saying “Comparing your first chapter to someone’s ending is not productive” is so true when it comes to exercise. You’re not going to play a game of tennis and suddenly turn into Serena or Venus Williams. The same is true of the gym, walking, swimming, whatever exercise you pick. Allow yourself time to become strong. It’s the biggest kindness you can pay to yourself.
Before we go any further, it’s really important for me to remind you that it’s important to seek medical advice whenever you have an injury.
I visited a physio, a doctor and an osteopath before embarking on any fitness routine. All of them suggested low impact exercise.
Walking is my personal favourite low impact exercise. I like putting on some music or taking my husband along and discovering new areas. The upside for me is that we have a lot of cats in our area so a walk down the road results in major kitty cuddles. New Zealand has some amazing walks and I definitely take advantage of them when possible. I’ll do a round up of my favourite walks on the blog in case you’re stuck for places to go. It’s not just tramping and hiking, there are fantastic flat and low impact walks out there too. However walking can be difficult in winter when its cold and rainy and windy.
- The Gym
There are other low impact exercises out there, especially if you’re willing to spend a bit of money. A gym membership will mean a low impact walk on the treadmill or some time on the bike is available to you without getting drenched. It’s important to look after yourself at the gym though. Make sure a personal trainer is made aware of your injuries when they show you around the gym. It’s a good idea to book a few personal trainer sessions to get to grips with the equipment and find a routine with the equipment that will protect you. Your gym may also offer great classes like low impact yoga, pilates or tai chi.
- The Pool
The best low impact exercise of them all? In the pool. You don’t even have to swim! Most pools will have a walking lane. A few lengths back and forth, simply walking, will do you wonders. The water provides enough resistance to get your muscles working but keeps you suspended enough that you aren’t putting pressure on joints. If you’ve got a joint injury then this is definitely the way to go. Entry into a pool normally costs between $8-15 and is worth every penny.
There are also aqua fitness classes when you’re stronger. I wouldn’t recommend them straight out of the gate, they can be intense and depending on the size of classes you may not be able to stand in deep enough water. There are also different levels of aqua fitness classes depending on where you go of course. I would strongly recommend aqua fitness classes, especially in the winter. The water is warm and really lovely on sore joints and muscles.
If you’re exercising with an injury, let me know below what exercises you’re doing and how you’re finding them. If you have any tips or tricks then leave them below.
It can be such a huge learning curve when you have an injury, learning how your body works and moves differently to others. Not everyone hurts the same way and not everybody hurts the same with the same movement. It takes time to get to know your body and your injury.