Unfortunately, this is a situation we have all been through. You know it, too. You’re doing really well in the gym; your’e reaching your goals and are proud of your consistency. Then, out of nowhere, you get a random injury. Or, you finally got consistent on your runs. You set a good schedule of where/when/how often to run. Then, BAM, you get sick, and it takes weeks to get back into any sort of fitness routine. There are so many things that can happen that can keep us from reaching or staying consistent with our fitness goals, that it can feel overwhelming at times. Well, my reader friend, though I have no simple solution, I offer words of encouragement and things to think about, should we find ourselves in this situation.
I know what it’s like. You worked so hard to get to where you are, and suddenly, it feels like it has all been taken away. It’s easy, and natural, to feel frustration, or even anger. Go ahead and feel frustrated. Feel free to get mad, like this, grrrrr. However, once you have given your feelings a chance to be heard and addressed, it’s time to start getting positive. Dwelling on the “grrrr” and “aw man, poor meeee” doesn’t help. It may even prolong the recovery process! It’s amazing how much of an impact our thoughts have on our physical body.
“Okay, I’m convinced that how I think has a big impact, both positive and negative. But, I’m down for the count for a while, what do I do?”
- Use this down time to evaluate your situation. What could you have done to avoid this? Did you skip a proper warm up, before going in to your workout? Did you allow enough rest between workouts? Are you over training? Has your nutrition started to slip? What kind of dietary adjustments can help you stay healthy? Are you getting as much sleep as your body requires? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, where can you go to get more information?
- How do you best treat your current situation? If you have a certain injury, how do you best treat it? If you had a medical procedure, are you following your doctor’s instructions for quickest recovery? If you’re sick, are you eating the right foods to help you bounce back? Are you sleeping/resting enough? Are you drinking enough liquids?
- Can you stay active in a way that is safe for your current situation? Are you probably better enough to be able to slowly get back into it? (if you’re too sick, continue to rest). Does your injury allow for adjusted exercise routines that allow you to keep some sort of continuity with your routine? Do low impact exercises like swimming or riding a bike make sense for your type of injury?
Doing the best you can to honestly answer the previous questions, can be greatly beneficial. We may not be able to do everything listed, but we can usually do SOMETHING. Thinking about these questions keeps you from taking a passive role in your recovery. Take control!
Use this time for planning and motivation.
What will your exercise plan look like when you get back in the game? Figure out your workout, even if it feels to be a ways away. What type of exercise will you do? How often? Where? How will you know you are ready to start up again?
Think about how it feels to be forced to take time away from being active. Think about how much fun it is to be active. Think about how great it feels after an intense exercise session. Think about what it feels like when you are in the swing of things. Picture yourself doing the activities you love to do and use it as fuel to do everything in your power to get better as soon as possible.
Doing these things may not seem like much, but they can make a big difference. Stay positive and plan ahead. You’ll be back on track before you know it.