Injuries and setbacks happen, it’s how we deal with them that matters most. Being a little bit stubborn can help, but being smart about it is important too. Here are some tips on how to get through these times, and still hit your goals!
Get checked out.
The most important thing with any injury is to get it checked out by a medical professional. That doesn’t mean getting your cousin’s roommate who did an online course in homeopathy to look at it, go to a GP as your first point of contact, and do it straight away.
Waiting even overnight can be a bad idea if it’s something serious, so if it’s more than a niggle, or it involves something serious (like your head, heart, lungs or other internal organs you need to live) go to a hospital. Yes, you’ll probably be sitting in the emergency room for hours on end (cutbacks are a bitch) but if something goes wrong, doctors and nurses will (hopefully) be pouring out of everywhere to help you. If something goes wrong at home, it can be really dangerous, especially if you live alone and you don’t happen to own a pet that can administer CPR.
Do what the doctor says
If possible, take notes on your doctors advice. If you disagree, feel free to get a second opinion, but until then do exactly
as they say.
If they say ice your arm for 30 minutes, then take the ice away for 15 minutes, then take out your stopwatch and stick to that routine to the second!
That goes with rest too. If you’re told to take a month off training, that’s a whole month. If you feel fine after three weeks, that’s great, but get cleared by a doctor before you start up again, otherwise a one month break can quickly turn into a six month lay off.
Check that it’s OK to work other areas
If you’ve injured your shoulder, ask the Doc if it’s still OK to work your lower body. you will lose muscle in the injured area, but if you can keep some of your cardio fitness, as well as keep training other areas, you won’t fall so far behind.
There is usually something
that you can do. Even if all you can do is low impact movements like swimming, yoga and Tai Chi, you will be far better off doing this than spending every day wishing you could run again.
Be smart though. Better to heal up quick and get back into it than re-injure yourself and need more time off.
Don’t slack off the diet
What you eat is more important than ever when you’re recovering. Your body needs all the nutrients it can get when you’re healing up. Ask your Doc if there are certain things you should eat more of, and stock up on those. Doctors orders are more important than maintaining your low carb diet, you do cheat on your diet from time to time, do you?
If you feel discouraged, try to resist the temptation to binge eat. You’ll feel worse afterwards, and still be injured.
Take your time coming back
Just because you’re able to come back to training, it doesn’t mean you can start where you left off. Take your time figuring out where your fitness level is. Generally, you’ll be a day behind for every day you take off, so a one month break will mean it will take you a month to get back to where you were before the injury. Think of your general health
first before going back to your routine prior to your injury.
It’s important to push yourself, but listen to your body and ease into it.
It’s very easy to get frustrated with an injury, but remember to stick with the rehab schedule that you’ve set yourself. Every time you feel discouraged, just remind yourself that you’re working towards a goal, and you haven’t given up, just taken a detour. You will
still get there.
Make The Situation Work For You
An injury can also be an opportunity in some cases. While you’re resting up, can you plan out your goals? Learn yoga? Do a course on nutrition? Learn how to play the ukulele? There are loads of ways you can improve yourself besides hitting the gym. Learn, plan or even do your taxes if you need to,
Learn from it
Take the time to re-evaluate your progress so far, and where you went wrong to cause the injury. Were you not taking enough rest? Was your form poor? How could you have avoided this problem? Look at each part of your training and find a way to make sure that you’re not in the same position again.
The big test is always going to be dealing with the frustration, but working on your mental strength is just as important as working on your body. Make improving on that your main goal now.
Being injured is not fun, but you can make sure that you get back into it quickly, and maybe even better than before with proper discipline, attitude and a willingness to improve. Just keep your goals in mind and perhaps, taking some sleep and recovery aid
, sooner or later, you’ll get there.