If you are someone that likes to keep fit, then it is likely that you will have experienced an injury or ailment at one time or another. It could be caused by something like overexerting yourself, pushing yourself too much, or from an accident that leads to an injury that happens outside of working out. It isn’t fun to have to take time out from doing something that you really enjoy. Plus, having to pause from your regular routine can have an impact on you physically, of course, but it also has an impact on your mental health. So no matter how much time off you have to heal, it is important that you make sure to prioritize both of those things as you recover.
Here’s some tips to staying fit with an injury.
If you only have a minor injury
If you are going to be off with only a minor injury for a couple of days, then what you need to do is to make sure that you use the time wisely, especially in order to keep your mental health in check. Taking some time out can really be a bit of a shame, but it is important to remind yourself that a few days off isn’t the end of the world. Using some positive self-talk during this time can be just what you need, which is all about telling yourself that what it is is temporary. It can really help to put things into perspective. Of course, there is a mental release that can come from working out, as well as the physical side. So instead, you could look for other things to do that will give the same stress relief or calming impact, much like meditation.
You need to use a few days off, from a physical point of view, as some valued recovery time. One of the reasons that you might be injured may be because of pushing yourself when you need to have given yourself a little more recovery time. So looking at it as some vital rehab is a good way to look at things. Your body can use that time to rest and recover so that you’re raring to go when you’re feeling well again. Plus, you can make sure that you are looking after yourself in other ways, like getting plenty of sleep and eating well, so that you don’t feel too lethargic or lacking in energy.
If you’re injured for a while
If you have an injury that means that you will be out for quite a while, then you could use it as an opportunity to cross train, depending on what kind of injury you have. If you or someone close to you has had a major injury, then you might need to find someone that is all about helping people recover after a life-changing incident, as they might have some quite specific needs. But if you’re able to do something, then being able to feel productive is a good idea, which is where some cross training could come in. Then you can train a specific part of your body or a specific skill that can help your performance goals overall. A boxer might not be able to box for a while with a broken wrist, for example. But they can work on their cardio or legs. So just help yourself to feel motivated and productive and it can go a long way to help your mental health.
If you need to take quite a while off, then it can be your body telling you something; to slow down. You won’t be able to heal well and get back to what you were doing without some rest. Of course, if you have a major injury or something that is preventing you from being active, then you should rest and focus on the mental health side of things to stay positive. But if you can move somewhat, then pain can often be a way of your body overcompensating, so slowing down can help to prevent injury. You could try out things like using a foam roller, or doing some gentle stretches and exercises. Things like yoga could be a way to help you to be active but still take it a little easier, as it is very low impact and you can adjust to what your needs are.
The key things are to listen to your body when you have an injury, as well as to your healthcare professional. A physical therapist might give you some exercises to do, for example, so go ahead with them. If not, be careful and don’t push yourself; you don’t want to make the injury or illness worse.