Staying Active and Positive When Injured

Staying Active and Positive When Injured
 
Many of us come upon hurdles when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle; it could be anything from a pulled muscle to a broken bone. Often times when one faces an injury, their first thought might be that they can’t get any exercise due to their injury.  After that first discouraging thought, hopefully one will reconsider their situation and realize it doesn’t have to be doom, gloom, and added pounds in their near future.
Karl Stringer, a sports performance coach, emphasizes staying positive, assessing how things could be done differently, and making a plan. For example, if one has a broken leg, they might think all exercise is out of the question. However, if one stays positive, they may realize there are other options. One should look at what they can do rather than what they cannot do. The person with the broken leg can’t walk, bike, swim, hike, run, etc. at the moment, but depending on the situation they may be able to do a chair workout (free videos available from SparkPeople), a core work from the bed (total body workout plan from SHAPE), strength training with weights or resistance bands (Band-Exercise.net). In this case, it is important for the person to realize walking with crutches provides an opportunity for a built-in workout, and not get discouraged that they “aren’t getting any exercise”.) Making a plan could be a valuable and perhaps necessary aide to assure follow-through with intended exercise.  This plan might consist of creating a schedule revolving around icing time, physical therapy, or when others might be around to support in a new routine and schedule. It’s important to keep reassessing the “can do” as healing occurs; instead of getting right back out there to run or hike up a mountain, realize that low-impact activities, core workouts, swimming or biking might be the best stepping stone to get one ready to get back to the previous activity level.
 
Jessica Smith from SHAPE Magazine also encourages injured individuals to look for other ways to stay active. She emphasizes that this could also be the opportunity to start new healthy habits and to focus on areas of wellness that aren’t related to physical activity. Such habits might be eating raw foods, trying new healthy recipes, or getting into a healthier sleep routine. This could also be the right time to try some of those things that has been on the “to do list,” such as eating cleaner, cutting down on white flour or sugar, or focusing cutting down on that “indulgence” that might be holding one back from losing weight. Lastly, Smith suggests giving to others through service. The time spent helping others might allow the injured person to get their mind off the injury or illness giving them less time to fall back to poor eating habits such as snacking throughout the day, and the experience most likely will be rewarding while creating satisfaction that is fulfilling, and in turn, lead to better overall wellness. 
-Mary B, guest author
 
Sources
 
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October 18 2016

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