exercise or rest

When you’re injured, should you exercise or rest?

Most of us have done it: pushed ourselves too hard in a fitness class or while doing chores around the house.

Perhaps you’ve experienced a clumsy accident. OUCH! You’re injured. Now what?

How To Decide Whether To Exercise Or Rest

First, let’s not ignore the symptoms.

If there is swelling and pain in the injured area, it’s your body’s way of defending itself against you using it until it’s healed.

LISTEN to your body.

Sometimes it’s not a good practice to push through the pain. In other words, you have to give that injury a little TLC and time to heal.

Think of this 1-10 scale to assess the pain:

pain assessment scale

Mild Pain: If the pain is mild, a little exercise may help in giving the injury the extra circulation necessary to supply the blood and oxygen it needs to heal. Just be cautious and don’t overdo it. You want to avoid further injury.

Moderate Pain: Moderate pain should start to get your attention. You may need to limit your activity to very low impact and light stretching. You may even need to rest it a few days or even a week giving it the RICE treatment: Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. Some gentle messaging and reflexology may also speed up your recovery.

Severe Pain: If you are in severe pain, take heed! If this level of pain persists without improving for a week to 10 days, it is probably time to head to your physician for some professional help.

Overall, the point of this article is that through my years of teaching and personal experience, I have noticed with my students and myself, resting can be torture when we’re used to being active.

But consider this: one week of healing inactivity is better than a six-week recovery from surgery.

So, once again, LISTEN to your body.

If you need a break, take it!

Truthfully rate the pain and follow the wisest path to decide whether exercise or rest is right for you.