Getting Back Into Exercising after an Injury

This past December, I fell down my basement stairs and had a horrible left-side skull fracture. To be honest, the situation could’ve been much worse. But the fall still left me with some repercussions – two scars on my leg that are fading, but I don’t know if they’ll go away and a lovely scar near my right eyebrow. I’ve come to terms with those, but the biggest struggle has been my stamina.

I used to have an on-my-feet job and standing for long periods of time was no big deal. After the skull fracture though, I get dizzy a lot and have trouble standing up for more than a few minutes. It’s ridiculous!

So if you’ve ever been in an accident, injury, or had a major sickness or surgery that left you feeling unable to do what you used to do, please know that you’re not alone.

Every situation is different and I know mine is not the worst. But it’s been a journey to try and build back my stamina. I gained about ten pounds since the fall (probably because I’ve been sitting so much) and am trying to get back into a more healthy exercising routine.

So if you’re trying to build your stamina, here are some suggestions. Please note that I’m not a physician or medical expert. Every situation is different, but here’s what has helped me.

Start Slow

For some reason, I just expected to get back to “normal” after the skull fracture. That just hasn’t happened. Healing takes time. Getting back into a routine takes time.

So the best way to get back into exercising is to start slow. I have a super-energetic dog named Rosie. She’s a Chihuahua-Jack Russell blend and has every trait you’d assume either breed have, which keeps life exciting around here. For the last few months, I’ve pretty much just been walking her down the street a few houses or part of a block. Part of the reason was the cold weather, but the other reason was I just got too tired going any farther.

This past week, I’ve started taking Rosie on even longer walks. Not marathon-length by any means, but a few blocks.

Starting slow is a great way to get back into your old exercise habits. Each day you can try to add a bit more time or endurance. Going at a slower pace allows you to build up stamina. Rosie and I won’t be running 5Ks any time soon, but we’re improving our distance.

Find Support

Exercising alone is difficult. It’s so much more fun to do with friends. Even in my neighborhood, I don’t feel comfortable walking too far on my own. But with Rosie, it’s so much fun. She has to bark at every rabbit, squirrel, dog, and human she sees. She has to sniff every tree and stop at every fire hydrant.

Joining an exercise class or doing something fun with your spouse, friends, etc. can make getting active so much easier and fun.

Stop Making Excuses

Doctors know best when it comes to recovery times, physical therapy, and when to resume activities after an illness, surgery, or injury. So please don’t try to push yourself beyond what you’re supposed to do.

But if you’re like me, and able to exercise now, why is it so easy to make excuses?

So my part-time job is being a personal grocery shopper. Since I’m still lower on the totem pole, I don’t always get offers consistently. I’ll put myself on the schedule and sit around waiting for an order to come through on my app.

For awhile, this became my excuse for not exercising. Then, I realized it was a poor excuse. There’s no reason I can’t bring my phone with me when I’m outside walking Rosie.


I am still very much on a journey to fitness and better health. I’m not the most athletic person you’ll ever meet, but exercising is so rewarding and I’m trying to stick with it.

What are your favorite ways to exercise? Has an injury or other incident affected your fitness and how have you handled that? Feel free to share your story.

Thanks so much for reading!

~RaeAnn Jent

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