Living a healthy lifestyle is a choice. Maintaining that healthy lifestyle is a choice. Keeping up with that healthy lifestyle even when life or injury get in the way is also a choice. I make the choice to live a healthy lifestyle every single day.
When life knocks you down you have two choices, stay down or dust yourself off and get back up. With injury you have the same choices, you can give up on exercising completely or you can stay active by getting creative and working around the injury, with a doctor’s permission of course.
When I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my right leg one month before I was set to run the New York City Marathon, I was devastated and thought about shutting down all of my exercise routines. After a few days of inactivity, I lost energy, became stressed and began to just plain feel bad about myself. I knew I had to find a way to exercise without making my current injury worse.
Before you think this is a sad story, let me outline what I did to get back on the exercise wagon and feel great. I hope you choose to follow a similar path after an injury or setback.
Before I could start exercising again, I needed to know my restrictions so that I could determine what exercises I could perform safely without aggravating my injury. I recognized that I could not do exercises that utilize the lower body. This fact has left me longing for a stress relieving sweat session. However, the important point is that I recognized that lower body exercises were out, not exercise entirely.
Over the next few weeks, as long as I remain pain free, I can start adding back in non-impact cardio. I visualize my future exercises to keep me motivated to keep going.
Stick to a Plan
After determining my restrictions I was able to figure out an exercise plan that I could perform, while resting my leg. The exercises I chose to perform focused on my upper body and core, with some non-weight-bearing leg work:
- Pilates - "Winsor Pilates" is my personal go to workout DVD that provides me with an awesome workout without any weight bearing impact.
- Push-ups - I started utilizing a push-up app on my iPhone called "100 Push Ups." This application is supposed to get you ready to be able to perform 100 consecutive push-ups in about 6 weeks.
- Pool running - I am not a swimmer, but pool running is a creative way to run without lower body impact.
Unless you are confined to a body cast, there will always be some type of exercise you can perform, even while nursing an injury. Get creative with your workouts.I guarantee you will find a group of exercises that will work for you, even while recovering from your injury.
Don’t let injury knock you out. Instead make the choice to live a healthy lifestyle, which sometimes means getting creative with your workouts.
What feelings do you have after an injury?
In the comments section, I will provide some tips for dealing with these emotions.
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