Being injured sucks. It’s that simple. Especially when fitness is a major part of you, having ‘ME’ time. It can even seem like your whole life is thrown off track.
Do injuries stop you from exercising completely? Should being injured stop you from stirving towards your goal?
The answer is no. It shouldn’t.
Why, you ask?
Now continuing this series, it’s time to look at what we can do to stay in between the lines of achieving our goals whilst being injured.
You have been working and getting great results and BAM, you tweak something, or perhaps you break both your legs jumping over your coffee table trying to rescue your child from pain..Yes that superparent knows who they are 🙂
Getting injured is really frustrating! Trust me I know… I have been there… I bet most of us have at some point!
What I often see is someone is doing great on their programme, they are motivated, on point with their nutrition and enjoying being a healthy person. Then they get injured and everything goes out the window. They feel bad becasue they can’t exercise, and then suddenly decide that 4 glasses of wine and a takeaway each evening are a good idea again? And people slide back into old habits.
Injuries can basically be frustrating to individuals who are consistently active and/or are training for an event. The physical repercussions are usually visible, but the emotional and psychological sequelae are often less obvious.
Watching your goals slip through your fingers (realise this is temporary… let’s not get too dramatic) can cause even the most resilient of us to spiral into sadness. While feeling down may be inevitable at times, know there is light at the end of the tunnel—and probably a silver lining.
An injury can help you realise you are not defined by your workouts, and it may even open the door to discover new passions or ways to exercise.
Let me show you 8 tips for staying sane while sidelined with an injury:
- Remember you’re not a one-trick pony
Even professional athletes who do this for a living have other interests and hobbies. There are so many other activities out there that can make you happy.
- Don’t get stuck in the denial phase
Unfortunately, there are only two ways to escape the denial phase: Either you train through the injury and end up making it a lot worse, or you go get professional help. Be smart and do the latter—it will be a much more pleasant experience.
- ID the root cause of your injury
There are no mysteries when it comes to injuries; there is always a reason why they happen. Spend some time figuring out exactly why you got injured and go to task on your weaknesses to prevent a relapse. Recovery is about more than just healing. What I mean by this, is just because you pulled your hamstring, your you have back pain doesnt mean that the hamstring or your back are the CAUSE. They are where you are feeling pain, but could be caused by other areas of your body being weak, imbalanced or immobile. Find the discrepancies, fix, them and come back even stronger.
- Plot your comeback.
Work with your doctor or physio to define a realistic timeline for when you can expect to be fully recovered. Then sign up for a race or plan a hike. —and plan your comeback in detail. Research has shown that planning and anticipation can be a real happiness booster.
- Dial in your diet
Are you getting enough veggies in on a daily basis? When you are taking time out off your training. It’s more the reason to continue having a good diet. Consider using some of the time to practice new cooking skills, make new recipes that you wouldn’t normally have time for, and sneaking more vegetables into each meal.
- Nerd out about your recovery
Your recovery is in your hands, so take responsibility and get invested in the process. There is a lot to learn about the human body. You are going to want to get back out there as soon as you can. But going out too hard too soon will only hurt you. Trainers, doctors, and physio’s will help keep you on track and see to it that you make it through.
- Challenge your body in a new way
Active people need to do something to work off energy. Being unable to do your favourite activity, forces you to get creative. It’s not a bad thing to be reminded that there are so many ways to stay active. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with a form of exercise you wouldn’t have tried were it not for your injury.
- Revisit your priorities
An injury can be the wake-up call you need to realize what your true priorities are. If you love working out and want to do it for a long time, you may need to take a step back and be less hard on yourself in your training.
Getting through these 8 stages can really help you make sure that your mindset towards your fitness journey to be more focused while injured.
Just because you are injured now, it doesn’t mean you’ll not reach your goals later.
Recover. Refuel. Restart.