No matter how smart we train, it is inevitable that we will face a setback from time to time. Being sidelined from injury can sometimes feel like an early end to the season and that can be demotivating and depressing. But it doesn’t have to be. These days, very few injuries will force you to hang up your feet and give up until your body settles down. Active recovery—low-intensity exercise used as a means of helping the body heal—is one of the best ways to maintain your fitness, and often more effective than passively waiting for your injury to sort itself out. Changing your exercise routine with new activities can also help prevent injury by strengthening muscles you don’t always use. Here are five ways to mix things up to keep your body moving while it’s on the mend.
AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill
If running is one of your favourite activities, being told to stop running to let something heal can feel like a bit of a death sentence. That’s where an AlterG comes in. These anti-gravity treadmills allow injured runners to continue training by strapping into the machine and allowing it to reduce gravity’s impact by 20 to 100 per cent of your body weight. In other words, it will feel like you weigh nothing while you are running. Your best bet in finding one to use would be contacting your local physiotherapist or chiropractor offices that specialize in sports injury.
The ElliptiGO allows you to get all the benefits of a low-impact elliptical workout on the road. The best way to describe an ElliptiGO is that it looks like a self-powered elliptical machine. Several elite athletes have used the ElliptiGO to help them return to competitive running or as a supplement to their training, making this a serious training option despite its appearance.
If you have access to a pool, then the AquaJogger is one of your most cost effective cross-training options. This buoyancy belt suspends you in the pool so you are floating upright with everything below your shoulders submerged in water. Make no mistake—just because you are floating in a pool doesn’t mean your workout is compromised in any way. Aquajogging is a serious cardio workout in itself and is guaranteed to make you work up a sweat when done right.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
If you live near a body of water, chances are you’ll have noticed people paddling upright on large, surfboard-like apparatuses. The idea is that you must balance yourself on the board and use the paddle to help you move around—no small challenge for your stability muscles. It is a full body, low-impact workout that develops a strong core and leg muscles from balancing on the board. It’s also a fun, group-friendly social activity.
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