How to keep fit and motivated when you’re recovering from an injury

The most common sports-related injuries are sprains and strains- which it turns out are completely different things. Sprains happen when the ligaments are torn or stretched, whereas strains happen when the muscles are torn or stretched. Not warming up before you exercise can make these injuries far more likely, but there isn’t really any way to predict when accidents will happen. 

If you do find yourself recovering from an injury, the most important thing is to rest it. Applying cold packs can also reduce swelling and help with recovery. Compression can also help to support injuries as they heal, speeding up the process. Without adequate rest and recovery, small injuries can become chronic, and far more serious. The options listed here are some of the many options available to you, but please be aware of your limits before you decide to work out around an injury.

Some of the most common injuries are:

  • Ankle Sprain- rolling your ankle causes the ligaments to tear, causing cramping and discomfort. As we are always putting weight on our ankles, recovery can take longer. 

  • Back & neck injuries- This happens when we don’t warm up properly or by lifting weight without the appropriate posture. The muscles in our neck or back become strained and can take longer to heal because of the reliance we have on these areas during everyday movement.

  • Groin injury- caused by a tearing or damage to the adductor muscles in the thigh. These are the muscles on the inside side of each thigh. This type of injury is particularly prevalent in athletes but can be caused by kicking, jumping, or turning. It can also happen when we lift heavy items, so we are at risk even when not working out!  If the damage is considerable it can take some time to heal completely.

  • Knee injury- a few ways this can happen. You can either cause through impact all at once, causing damage and potentially chronic pain if not treated correctly. It’s also possible to damage the joints over time through gradual wear and tear. The impact can cause the cartilage in your knee to wear down, leading to discomfort when the joints move. 

  • Tennis elbow- usually caused by overuse or repetitive use of the muscles in the forearm. The pain and discomfort will often travel up from the elbow along the forearm, making it difficult to ignore. Tiny tears in the muscle build up over the time the muscles are used. 

Many of these injuries will heal gradually over the course of a few weeks. The best way to speed up this process is the RICE method (Rest Ice Compression Elevation). This guide provides some little tips and tricks to help you on your way to recovery, varying from different ways to use your energy to more gentle methods of keeping your workout streak going strong. If you are looking for a place to start, resistance bands can help to promote control and flexibility in specific muscle groups. Bamae provides a set of three bands with varying levels of resistance, so you can adapt your workout to your own pace and increase it as you improve. 

Accept that you are still recovering


One of the biggest dangers is pushing yourself too hard too early, which can make recovery far slower. It can be frustrating to have to take a back seat in your own life, especially when you have put so much work into a establishing a routine. Although it can feel like a step backward, don’t fret! There are other ways to channel your motivation and keep yourself on track for a far smoother return to glory. 

Train your abdominals 



This step is more about being prepared for the future, as training your abdominals can improve strength in your core and help with balance, so you are not only improving over time, but you are also lessening the chances of straining one of the most relied on areas of your body. You can help avoid strain and keep your core strong to improve your everyday health all at once. 

If you have an upper-body injury, then focus on your lower body for the time being. Rest and recovery of the injured areas simply cannot be avoided, but if you are careful you can continue to improve in other areas. This could also be a good opportunity to work on your cardio, as most of the cardio workouts focus more on your lower body.

Focus your time and energy towards your diet



Your diet can have a huge impact on your health- there’s a reason that we are often told that simply exercising is not enough! Try to prepare yourself some healthy and protein-filled meals. Focusing on this area paired with some low-impact routines will keep your fitness at a reasonable level until you feel ready to pick up the pace. 

Some low-impact alternatives


There are activities you can do that can keep your body healthy without putting too much strain on yourself. 




Swimming is one of the most popular options for recovery because the water can support much of your body’s weight, taking the pressure off any sprains or injuries. You can remain active and build muscle gradually, without putting too much strain on the rest of your body as you move. Swimming can also help build up cardiovascular strength and stay motivated whilst keeping yourself safe.




Cycling is often used in sports injury clinics and physiotherapy programs as a key part of rehabilitation. Going out for a bike ride is an effective option because you are more in control of how intensive your workout will be. By increasing the incline as you travel, you can gradually improve your stamina whilst shifting some of the tension to your upper body. Cycling is fantastic for cardiovascular exercise that lets you plan your route around your schedule, as well as decide the intensity level as you go. In addition to being great for your body, you can also use cycling as an opportunity to see the sights, and keep your mind healthy too! 



It’s easy to assume that rowing would only work out your upper body, but it works out a little bit of everything. Working on a rowing machine is fantastic for stamina and core strength, and is a great alternative to hitting the treadmill if you’re looking for a change of pace. One of the most important things to focus on here is maintaining careful, deliberate motions as you work out. Fast movements can do more harm than good and take much of the tension out of the movement. 

Tai Chi

Originating in China as a martial art practiced primarily for meditation, health benefits, and defense training, focusing on deep breathing and flowing movements. Tai chi has been found to have a myriad of health benefits and is believed to improve mental health alongside physical strengths. The slow and deliberate movements of Tai chi mean that there is very little strain placed on your joints as you move, so you can improve your posture and stamina without worrying about further injury. This can also be a way to keep yourself active and motivated. There are faster-paced forms of Tai chi, but the most commonly used forms are slow and methodical. As you begin to feel better, consider upping the pace as you go along.

Keeping up a routine for activity, regardless of what activities you choose, can help to keep you motivated and create a good habit. Periods of inactivity can make it hard to stay motivated because of the apparent lack of progress, so it’s worth trying to shift your motivations to other areas to avoid this.


Always a great option! Yoga’s combination of stretching techniques and the requirement of strength to maintain good form can help improve your overall fitness whilst making future injury less likely. Yoga is very low impact and has been shown to help decrease stress levels, which can be a great way to keep yourself motivated and your mind clear. Plus it's an activity you can do just about anywhere so long as you have a mat and a bit of space- which is always a big bonus.