Road to Recovery
With the doctor’s clearance and your make-up assignments behind you, you’re finally ready to break a sweat and make up for lost time. But where do you begin?
The first time back at The Rec after a surgery, illness or injury can be overwhelming. With the burden of missed classes and assignments looming over you, getting back into shape might take longer than you had anticipated. As college students, we feel forced to dive back into our jam-packed routines, causing us to cut our recovery time short. But rushing unprepared back to the gym may be damaging to your health and wellness.
Here is some advice to get you started:
Get Back to Your Daily Routine First
Your recovery time and ability are dependent on the type of injury or illness you suffered from. Remember that what used to be a normal task, such as going to class with your backpack on, walking up stairs or grocery shopping might wear you out, even if it didn’t before. Blake Crank, personal trainer at The Rec, suggests that “[o]nce you have your daily tasks handled without exhaustion, try going to the gym once a week. When you feel comfortable with that, go twice a week, and so on.” This gradual return to your fitness regime will be a healthy transition, and your body will thank you.
Set Yourself Up for Success
The best way to make progress with your fitness is by having a clear goal in mind. You should have short and long term goals to help motivate you in this process. Crank recommends using SMART Goals because they are useful when it comes to planning concrete steps toward your success. If you don’t want to face this alone, set up a consultation with a professional at The Rec. The personal trainers will happily work with your physician’s recommendations and guidelines in order to help you set up a productive and healthy program to achieve your goals.
Know Your Body
Remember that you are not at the same physical level you were before. Whether you lifted, played sports, or just hit the gym once a week, its important to start small after recovery. Crank says, “If you rush back into your old routine, recurring injury is likely, and that will trigger negative associations with the gym and exercise.” To avoid that, begin by walking and completing small reps of light weight. This might feel too easy at first, but you should leave The Rec feeling better than when you came – so don’t push it too hard!
Questions or comments about how to get back to your fitness goals? Leave a comment down below, or reach out to us on social media @AuburnCampusRec! We love hearing from you.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Julia B.