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To many, an injury can feel like a real hindrance to their exercise regimen. After all, how can you continue working out without putting too much strain on the injury? If you’ve injured any part of your leg, you may be even more hard pressed to find a good routine to keep you moving. 

But when it comes to fitness, it’s important to remember that something is always better than nothing. If you can’t work out one area of your body, you’re still benefiting from the effects of training your brain and nervous system when you work out the other parts. There are plenty of ways to stay fit when injured—even when one of your largest muscle groups is out of commission! Here’s how:

Take Up Swimming

If you’ve experienced a hip or knee injury, you’ll want to stay away from workouts that put increased stress on those areas. If you’re in need of cardio but feel too much pain cycling, walking, or using the elliptical, try hopping in the pool. Swimming is an incredibly effective whole body workout. What’s best, though, is that it has minimal impact on our joints, resulting in less pain for you!

Focus on Upper Body

A leg injury presents the perfect opportunity to focus on getting the perfectly toned arms of your fitness dreams. If you’ve found that it’s too difficult to workout your lower body without bothering your injury, you may have to take the loss and focus your routine elsewhere. A great way to enjoy your limited fitness options is to switch up your perspective and turn the situation into a fun challenge. Never been able to perform a full set of pull-ups? Make it happen! A leg injury doesn’t mean you can’t reach your fitness goals. 

Seated Boxing

Another great alternative to traditional forms of cardio, boxing from a seated position will still spike your heartbeat. Many gyms will allow you to lower the punching bag and a trainer can help you navigate the workout with a few modifications. Though you can’t kick or spin, seated boxing will help work out your core and upper body while giving you the cardio you so crave while injured.

A leg injury doesn’t need to put a damper on your fitness goals. If anything, it provides a good test of your dedication and will power—as well as your creative problem solving skills! With a little out of the box thinking and a shift in perspective, your health and fitness can stay right on track, regardless of a torn ACL, broken ankle, or pulled ligament.