Of course, if you are not permitted to do anything, you do not want to go against doctor’s orders. In the end, they know what you should and should not do depending on your type of injury. But if your injury is minor and caused by overuse, it probably means you need to take a break from the activity that caused the problem and find an alternative that will not aggravate it further. When my knee began acting up, I turned to spinning for a while and chose exercises that I knew were more knee-friendly and did not make the pain worse. I also realized that one of my favorite classes had too many movements that were causing my knee pain so I had to take a break from it. I did not have to stop exercising—I just needed to find something else that worked for my particular problem.Many people with shoulder issues have difficulty performing overhead presses, but have no problem doing push-ups. That is fine since push-ups work the shoulders and the upper body—not to mention the core. Lateral raises, bent-over raises and front raises are also great for shoulders if there is no pain or discomfort when doing them. (photo credit here)
Some injuries are more challenging than others. A back injury can really put you out depending on how badly it is hurt. These often require complete rest for a few days or even weeks if it is serious. And even if you are allowed to begin exercising, you do not want to do anything to make the situation worse. Recumbent bikes are great for cardiovascular exercise since they support your back when you pedal. Many strength exercises are safe to do like those for biceps, triceps and chest. You may want to stay away from any rowing or pull-ups until you get the green light from your doctor or physical therapist. Remember to ease into any exercise by starting with light weights and then slowly increasing it as you feel stronger and your back feels better. This is especially the case when you begin incorporating weighted lower body exercises like squats and lunges which put more stress on your back.
When your body tells you that enough is enough, stop and listen. You may not like what it is telling you, but you should not ignore it either. Finding alternatives that allow you to heal while still getting in your exercise is important—for both your body and your mind!