Maintaining fitness after a severe injury is always a challenge, especially for those who thrive on having plenty of exercise. You may be out of action for months. It's important to focus on a speedy and thorough recovery, including important factors like proper diet, staying busy, and above all, following your doctor's advice. Here are four keys to keeping fit after an injury.

1. Find a Support Network,

Just because you can't train the way you want doesn't mean you should just give up and bide your time. No matter what your sport or style of workout, you can reach out to others for their insights on getting healthier faster. Even little things like supplements or de-stressing exercises can help, but sympathy and support are crucial. You might find people in a similar situation at your gym or online via chat and forum groups devoted to fitness and recovery.

2. Watch and Learn

Just being in the gym is a good way to spend your downtime. Watching others work out is motivating. It can even be instructive, if you watch the advanced trainers that really know what they're doing. You may want to take some time to visualize the process. It can help you perfect your own technique. Studies show that visualization may also have some physical benefits, as well.

3. Be Patient

Give yourself a chance to heal, and heal correctly, or you might worsen the condition. There's no avoiding the fact that your fitness level is going to drop. Your progress hasn't come to a full stop, it's just delayed. See it as a vacation. Cry, shout, or throw a chair across the room if you have to, but find ways to vent your frustration and occupy yourself with other interests.

4. Start Slow

You may not be up to your old routine, but you can start some milder exercise programs as soon as your doctor says it's safe. There are fitness programs for senior citizens, as well as low-impact exercises like swimming, Tai Chi, or just plain walking if you're up to it. If a knee injury was your problem, you may be immobilized and enduring orthopedic treatments with the help of professionals from Western Orthopaedics or a clinic near you, but you can still find ways to occupy your upper body muscles.

Prevention of additional injuries should always be your first concern. From the moment you begin recovery, you should consult with your doctor on fitness programs that can speed recovery without aggravating your health problems.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.