Exercise suggestions for the injured
August 3, 2006 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Light exercise suggestions for a half-battered body?

I had a cycling accident last weekend, which has cut and bruised only the left side of my body (mainly arm and leg). The right side of my body is all fine. My usual exercise routine includes cycling, pilates and the occasional swim.

I can't kneel, and my elbow is the most injured part. I can straighten and bend it but it feels a bit tender and I'm not keen to put any weight on it or use it to pick things up.

I know that rest is important for recovery - but i don't want to abandon all exercise while I heal. I went for a walk today and seemed to be ok. When the cuts and road rash are healed more I will probably go and bounce around in the pool. But I would also like to do some other kind of exercising too.
posted by gomichild to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sounds like isometric exercises would fit the bill nicely.
posted by rinkjustice at 10:38 AM on August 3, 2006

...although you'll need to experiment somewhat to accommodate your injuries.
posted by rinkjustice at 10:45 AM on August 3, 2006

I would recommend sticking with walking, and when you feel up to it, swimming, while you heal. I'm just afraid that if you overwork yourself, you might delay your healing further than if you just let yourself rest up. In the meantime, walking and gentle swimming can help you from feeling like a total lump.
posted by tastybrains at 10:45 AM on August 3, 2006

Walking for starters, but depending on the severity of the bruising I'd say jogging, running or soccer (friendly game) would work fine since your arm/elbow won't take any stress and you don't have to bend your knees too far to jog.

If those don't work out for you, you could always do a ton of ab work.
posted by bangitliketmac at 11:05 AM on August 3, 2006

Best answer: I've read (probably in Bicycling magazine, so, be forewarned) that core strengthening exercises are a good supplement. I've had some interesting ones when doing physical therapy for my back that utilize the swiss ball. Good luck with your recovery!
This might even inspire me to get my own, and start getting more serious with my own exercise routine...
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 11:06 AM on August 3, 2006

I would personally avoid the swimming until the scabs are substantially gone (or at least avoid long swims)...road rash can get pretty ugly and start to peel off when it gets soaked. It doesn't really hurt at the time, but you'll feel it when all that unhealed, now exposed, skin dries off.

Ignore this if you're only bruised, though...I don't see that being problem.
posted by johnsmith415 at 3:04 PM on August 3, 2006

I've found that walking for 20-30 minutes is great for keeping fitness inbetween injuries (soccer and mountain biking). Your muscles have memory and just using them lightly will maintain a lot of your fitness while you heal. I've never done it but ObscureReferenceMan's core excercise idea sounds pretty good, I'll have to try that.
posted by p8r1ck at 3:11 PM on August 3, 2006

Swimming with a kickboard (actually, propelling yourself through water using only your legs). If your injured arm gets too tired or sore, you can keep it at your side and use your good arm.

Also, you can do the backstroke one-armed, with a little practice and maybe some swim fins/flippers.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:51 PM on August 3, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!

Some of the isometric exercises look interesting, and I've been thinking about one of those balls for a while anyway even just to use partially as a chair while I work.

Swimming will have to wait a while because I am scabby (yuck!) and the pools here are so chlorinated I'm afraid I'll scream as soon as I get in.

Possibly a long way from even friendly contact sports - still wincing every time someone walks too close to my injured half.
posted by gomichild at 7:11 PM on August 3, 2006

Response by poster: Follow-up: my swiss/balance/yoga ball arrived today and so far it's been a blast!

Not only can you use it to gently stretch but it also makes a nifty chair to use at the computer too.
posted by gomichild at 12:36 AM on August 6, 2006

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