Been injured and going through the frustration of getting back into fitness? Rebecca Bryant knows your pain. Here are her five ways to get back to fit post-injury.
Injury sucks, and is something you never want to happen. But, occasionally (well, hopefully not too often) you can fall victim to pulling a muscle, straining a ligament – or worse. And inevitably when you work out or play sport, your risk increases. So how do you stay on top of your game when medically part of you is out of action? Here's how:
1. Accept that it has happened
Stay as positive about your injury as possible. Yes, it's irritating, and a massive shame, especially if you're working towards a specific goal. You may not even be able to run that particular 10K this time around. You will have other opportunities though. You have to be prepared also with the fact that your body will have weakened. You will not be as powerful as you once were. However, it's a wonderful thing and pretty resourceful. It'll come back in time and that niggle will soon be just a blip in your training schedule.
2. Think like an athlete
Athletes get injured all the time – it's a fact – but that doesn't stop them in their pursuits. They just have to adapt to the situation. Jessica Ennis-Hill was injured just before the Beijing Olympics, and so couldn't compete at the prestigious sporting event. Four years later and we all know what happened at London 2012 and consequently afterwards. The point is she used all that frustration and time out to push through and then smash her goals.
3. Ask all the right questions
More likely than not, you'll probably see a physio, or someone to help you through your injury. Make the most of this time to take in as much information as possible. You want to know when you'll be able to box again or pound the pavements. Do the exercises they give you and build up your strength in a controlled way. You want to know what is going on with your injury and how you can adapt your routine. Ask the professionals, as that's what they're there for. And more importantly, listen to what they say. Break it down into what you can do, week by week, and plan your training accordingly.
4. Focus on what you can do
Don't let the injury stop you from getting your kicks in the gym. If your arm is say in a sling, and you've been advised to keep it immobile, focus on light cardio such as stationary cycling or body weight activity such as lunges, squats and leg lifts. Hurt your leg? Switch to working on that six pack. Whatever you do, don't let it get the better of you. Be imaginative and find a different way to work it in the gym.
5. Try something new
You love running but have been advised away from high impact sports. How do you keep your cardio up? Well, swimming, aqua jogging or spinning are obvious choices, and will stop your level of fitness dropping dramatically. Or how about a Pilates or yoga class to build up strength while you have to stay away from the weights? You may not think it's your thing right now but after a few classes you may actually enjoy it, and be open to the idea of adding it into your training schedule.
Check out our classes schedule here.
And for some extra help post-injury, check out our VPTs who are happy to help you through your recovery.