Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How I am Staying on Track when My Body is Saying Hell No (thanks to my loving and overprotective dog)

 Injuries suck. Big time. And none of them are the same so how you approach exercise when you are injured is going to vary greatly based on your injury. But whether you are too injured to work out or just  need to take it down a notch, there are things you can do to make sure your injury doesn't throw you completely off course.

This is what I tried to do after my 80 lb dog  and another large dog decided to not play so nicely at the park. I was knocked down and drug around on my back by two very angry, very large dogs. I ended up being bumped and bruised and sore for almost a week. I knew bouncing around with Chalene Johnson was not going to be an option when I woke up the day after our little party and my back ached.

Keep your schedule in tact 

This might mean taking your typical work out time and going for a walk or changing your workout routine to something your doctor advises (like low impact modifications.) Whatever you do don't use the time to sit on the couch and play games on your tablet or phone (or watch bad tv) because the more of a bad habit you build here, the harder it is going to be to get back into your workout routine when you are back to normal.

I walked. I did yoga because it actually helped my achy back. Don't do anything your doctor doesn't recommend or that causes you pain but talk to him or her about what they recommend. And listen to your body. Mine was telling me to stretch and not sit still (it hurt more if I sat for long periods of time) so I listened. No, I didn't burn crazy amounts of calories with a intense workout like I was used to and that was okay. My body was recovering. I did however keep the good habits I've built these last couple of months in check. And that makes all the difference.

If any exercise is off the table use the time you would exercise to do things like cleaning out the pantry, catching up on your meal planning, reading about health and wellness, planning what workout program you are going to tackle next or to set new goals. Do something that keeps you focused on getting started again as soon as you are cleared.

Eat at the times you typically eat. Keep that meal schedule in tact. I know when I don't feel well all I want to do is eat pizza or mac and cheese (hello comfort food) but giving in to these cravings now will make it that much harder to get back on track later. Besides, let's build some new habits and maybe break the I-got-a-boo-boo-I-deserve-a-cookie habit that was so lovingly formed in our youth.

Tighten up on your meal plan

I looked at my meal plans and saw where I could cut and trim. No extras the week I was off my normal workouts. I wasn't burning the calories to allow the expenditure. I made sure there were no little slip ups with cheese (the one dairy vice I can't quite seem to quit completely) and no extra bread at dinner. I upped my veggie intake and lowered my fruit intake. I tried to eat around 1200-1300 calories a day instead of 1500-1800.  And while I didn't lose any weight, I didn't gain any either. That for me is a win.

Look at what you typically eat and cut out the obvious (and easy) things. No alcohol (which if you are on pain meds or anything like that you probably shouldn't have anyway) no dessert, the little treats we allow ourselves for having a great week need to go when you aren't working out.

Get lots of good quality sleep

Look at your sleep habits and try to improve them while you are healing. Sleep is a luxury in this house (by morning I have a toddler and a terrier fighting for space in my bed!) but sleep can make you feel so much better while you are healing (and our bodies need it!) Plus banking some shut eye also helps with the food cravings and cheats. I know I am much more likely to go off the rails when I am cranky and tired. Being super sleep deprived also has me craving pizza like a crazy person, so sleeping (as well as I can) is a tool I try to use whenever possible.

I was extremely grateful my injury was not severe and I started feeling better within the inside of a week. I was able to walk and do yoga and am looking forward to jumping, punching, squatting and kicking with Turbofire in a few days. I also know that by working really hard to keep my days structured the same as they were when I was working out has really helped me stay eager to jump back into my scheduled workouts (and miss them too!)

Always always always talk to your doctor (or physical therapist) about any injuries and exercise you may want to continue doing or new exercise you want to try. These suggestions are based on my own experiences and what worked for me, personally and are not in any way medical advice.

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