Car accidents can result in serious injuries that may take longer to heal. However, there are some workouts that when performed accordingly can help you recover much faster than expected.
During recovery, you need rest more than ever to allow your body to heal. You should also consult with your doctor about safely adding some light exercises like yoga a few days after your accident. If the accident involved bleeding, avoid any exercise at least until the bleeding stops.
It is necessary that your doctor gauges your body's response to inflammation and advises you on the kind of exercises to avoid and those that are okay. Most physiotherapist and osteopaths agree that the immediate resumption of workouts after a car accident can hinder recovery.
It is, therefore, necessary that you avoid exercises that involve weightlifting, the Pilates type of stretching, or even the more energetic yoga classes.
Here are the top 4 workouts that you can do after a car accident.
Guided aqua therapy exercise
Walk or perform exercises in a pool to aid your recovery from the injuries sustained from the car accident.
Water will help reduce the weight on your joints, muscles, and joints bearing injury. Aqua therapy should only be done with the help of a physical therapist, otherwise do not attempt it.
Your physical therapist may need to accompany you to the pool and walk with your arm in arm. You should also inquire your therapist if ice or heat or both can facilitate the healing of your injuries more so after an exercise routine.
Walking / Cycling exercise
Walk as advised by your doctor. Consider taking short walks to boost your physical recovery after the car accident. You need to avoid walking without being supervised by your physical therapist unless you are cleared to do so by your doctor or osteopathic physician.
Your therapist will identify a surface that is flat and safe enough for your walking exercise. Cycling, combined with yoga, is also a recommended approach to accident recovery patients. You can also consider cycling using a mountain bike. Buying a mountain bike can be confusing at the best of times, thankfully Adventure Gears Lab editor Walter Martin is here to run you through what you need to know.
Again, this should only be done if your doctor permits you to do so. Consider wearing shoes that are supportive and study as per the recommendation of your physical therapist or doctor. If you feel pain from a short walk, do not hesitate to call your doctor. Quick physical recovery does not mean you have to walk for several minutes or hours; even a single minute walk will help you get back on your feet.
Yoga and walking is a particularly healing type of walking exercise, especially if done under supervision, in a restorative retreat.
Physiotherapist-approved stretching exercises
One way you can regain a range of motion after an accident is by stretching the muscles gently then strengthening them. Stretching helps prevent the formation of scar tissue as the body undergoes a healing process.
Stretching properly can also help manage the pain. Do not stretch if the doctor advised you not to. You may experience mild discomfort while stretching but that should not result in downright pain. Here are 3 stretching exercises which are usually recommended to accident recovery patients.
- Relax the body and take in a deep breath while sitting in a chair straight, with your shoulders erect. Have your ear lowered to the shoulder then to the opposite shoulder doing it ever so gently. Lower your chin and tuck it into your chest, then erect your head. Do it gently to ensure you do not rock your head into the shoulder which can stretch the neck muscles too much.
- Carry out this exercise 10 times with every single step repeated three times. Spread your arms sideways in a chair. Relax and take a deep breath. Lift some light weights out to the sides, lowering your arms ever slowly. Repeat as in the above step.. Have your arms scissor before your chest, one over the other. Maintain them at the height of your shoulder. Bend your shoulders a little bit. Repeat as in the previous steps.
- Get your knees beneath your hip. Maintain your spine in a straight position. Maintain your neck in a straight and not below your shoulders. Raise your leg out straight. Do the same with the other leg. Do this while holding your leg for about ten seconds? Repeat as in the previous steps.
Singing is one of the most important exercises you can do after a car injury. Seriously, we’re not joking. Car accidents cause a shock that makes people emit cries or gasps. The response your body may have towards a car accident can cause tightening of your chest and diaphragm. You will probably find yourself a bit sore and tired from the exertion. Be thankful for having survived the accident by singing a sweet song. Singing will also help exercise your diaphragm and draw in more healing oxygen into your lungs.
Yoga breathing exercises (part of the Pranayama practice) are also a good way to achieve this healing effect. Perform a soothing exercise with your hands and arms at rest and placed across your abdomen, try resting on your backing doing it ever so gently. Take a slow and even breath, in and out, and push air against your hands. Do this soothing exercise for about one to five minutes on a daily basis throughout your recovery period.
Although there is a wide range of exercises that you can perform after a car accident, it is very important that you consult with your doctor first.
Most of the exercises must be performed under strict supervision by a certified PT. Exercises such as cycling and stretching must only be done after consulting with your doctor. Even if the doctor permits them, they must only be carried out under the watchful eyes of your PT.
Once you perform these exercises as per your doctor's advice, it won't take long before you finally get back on your feet. In case you experience any pain, do not hesitate to call your doctor.
Disclaimer: Before you engage in any exercise or workout, you must first consult with your doctor to know whether any exercise will be okay for you.
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Whenever you need physical recovery after a particularly tolling time, a restorative yoga retreat may be just what you need to get back into shape.
Note: Before you start any workout program mentioned in this article, make sure you’re physically apt to do it and talk to your medical provider. Stop any exercise if you feel pain.