How do you Transition from Physical Therapy to a Gym Program?

We’ve all been there. At some point, chronic pain, tennis elbow, or maybe even a more serious surgery caused you to press pause on your daily routine and go to physical therapy. But after your physical therapy is complete and you’re ready to press play again, how do you transition from physical therapy to a gym program?

Transitioning to a Gym Program after Physical Therapy

Post-physical therapy exercise can seem overwhelming if you are still experiencing pain or questioning if you are ready to go back to the gym 100%. It’s understandable. However, a gym program after physical therapy will actually help maintain the progress you made by increasing range of motion, strength and stability.

Keep a few key points and steps in mind during your gym program transition:

  • Alleviate acute pain before exercising. The thought of exercising can be scary when you’re in pain. But if you use passive pain-relieving techniques like massage therapy or heat and/or cold therapy, this can reduce your pain, making it easier to transition into a gym program. In fact, the American College of Physicians recently released new recommendations for treating back pain, and they include both exercise and massage therapy!
  • Build a support system. It’s important to have a support system during and after physical therapy, like your friends and family. They can encourage you and keep your spirits up, especially when you hit challenges. It might even be a good idea to ask them to join you in your gym program!
  • A good gym program includes stretchingThe type of exercise matters. A good, transitional gym program should include a combination of stretching, strength training and low-impact aerobic exercise. And don’t forget to pace yourself during these exercises! Personal trainers are an excellent resource, because they can provide you with a personalized routine that can meet all of your needs. Many of the Alexandria personal trainers at MTVAC also have advanced training in athletic injuries and experience in injury recovery, making your rehabilitation go much more smoothly. They will be by your side every step of the way!
  • Expect some discomfort. Beginning a gym program after an injury will always cause some discomfort as a result of increasing activity. But this can be a sign that you are getting better. Although it can also be your body’s way of telling you to ease up. Always listen to your body! If the pain becomes severe, take a break. Talk to your personal trainer or a specialist. You may have to temporarily stop your gym program until your body catches up with your go get ’em spirit. 

Jump Start Your Gym Program at MTVAC

Gym Program for Rehabilitation after Physical TherapyDid you know that MTVAC has an ongoing partnership with INOVA hospital and has a few rehab machines, like bicycle pedaling with your arms? With your membership you also get a quarterly 30-minute check-in with staff from Personal Training. Since many of our personal trainers have certification and schooling beyond your typical Alexandria personal trainer, they are a great resource for diving into a gym program post-physical therapy!

Don’t lose your progress – continue to make improvements at MTAVC! Contact a client coordinator to schedule a personal trainer consultation today!

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