How to Fight the Injury Blues

Injury always seems to hit just when you find your workout groove. Whether you were training for a half-marathon, revving up your cross-fit game or finally not feeling ridiculously sore from every barre class, our bodies sometimes can’t handle the increased tempo at moments when our minds are eager for more. When injury strikes and you find you can’t continue with the same exercise regime in order to fully heal, here’s some tried and true ways to not let your sweat sessions dwindle:

  1. Figure out the source of the pain
    • When you’re injured, it can be very tempting to ignore the pain and push through. However, this is one of the worst things you could do for your long-term body wellness and physical strength. It is important to rest the site of the injury, but at the same not let all your gains disappear as fast as Alo Yoga’s newest leggings line. In order to keep exercising, determine the source of the pain and find out what’s causing it. Refer to your physician or chiropractor to get help with this too. Once the source of the pain is determined, you can realize what exercises are safe for your body and adjust accordingly.
  2. Physical Therapy
    • While you’re adjusting your workouts to avoid overworking your injury spot, it is also important to remember to strengthen the areas of weakness that caused the injury in the first place. Physical therapy can be just as much of a workout as hitting up your regular gym moves!
  3. Explore, explore, explore
    • Focus on the positives: this is an opportunity to test all all kinds of new workouts! If shin splints have forced you to hang up the running shoes for a while, maybe try spin or the ultra luxury aqua watercycling. If barre has got your hip flexors in knots, time for some relaxed yoga to strengthen and stretch the joints. When all that crossfit is starting to strain your biceps, maybe it’s time to try some low impact swimming or trampoline dance cardio. Variety is your best friend!
  4. Put it on the calendar
    • The toughest parts of injuries is the longing to get back to your regular routine. If your day doesn’t feel quite right until you’ve done a loop of Central Park or grinded out a 150 lb bench press at the box, it’s easy to start to feel unsettled and not like yourself. But injuries don’t last forever, and before you know it you’ll be back doing what you love. So like anything else in your life, organize that shy*t. Mark on your calendar the last time you worked out the body part that is ailing you and assess each week how it’s feeling. Visually assessing how long it’s been and estimating how long it will take to get better will help you calm your panic about getting behind all your non-injured friends.
  5. Slow Recovery
    • Maybe after a couple weeks in, do something light that works the spot of the injury lightly and see how it feels. Once the pain is gone, don’t jump back in right away, but instead build up slowly to regain strength where you lost it while resting. Taking the time to rest from the injury, only to jump back in much too fast is like binge eating on a tray of Oreos after doing Whole30 perfectly for a month. You won’t feel very good, and you won’t be doing your body any favors. Tread lightly, tread slowly.
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