By Faith Barbare, Owner and Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist at SimplyFit
My fitness journey began almost two years ago, and after a few short months, I was hooked. Working out became my passion, my stress relief, and my “me time”. I worked out 4 – 6 days a week and always went hard. Then just like that, I found myself strapped in a boot with a pair of crutches and a broken foot. Devastated was an understatement. My passion was suddenly stripped from me, and I felt my health was spiraling out of control.
I became depressed. I watched my clients work out and felt jealous. The “why me?” and “what do I do now?” really sunk in. After a few days of feeling sorry for myself, I picked myself up, with my crutches of course, and got back to it. No, I wasn’t running a 5k or lifting like I did before, but I wasn’t giving up. Too many people were looking to me for inspiration, and I couldn’t let them down. I couldn’t let myself down.
If you are faced with a roadblock in your fitness journey, here are some surefire ways to get you out of your slump and allow you to deal with limitations:
Tip # 1 – Take it all in
It’s easy to think we aren’t allowed to feel sad, angry or frustrated. If we don’t take the time to let our emotions run their course, they will only come back to haunt us later. The sooner we deal with these feelings, the sooner we can move forward with the healing process.
Tip # 2 – Support and Community
A great way to help you deal with your emotions is to surround yourself with others who are going to lift you up and help you through the healing. Family and friends are essential, so don’t push them away. Instead, pull them closer to help you out of your slump.
Tip # 3 – Change Focus
Nutrition should always be important; however, it will now be taking the driver’s seat for your fitness goals. Some injuries can put you out of commission in multiple ways, making fitness impossible. That doesn’t mean all of your progress has to go to waste. Switch gears and make nutrition your main focus. Changing focus also might mean it’s time to set up a new game plan as well. If my goal prior to an injury was to run a marathon, switching my focus to building abs would be a better choice for me.
Tip # 4 – Find Alternatives
If your doctor allows you to continue exercising, find exercises that won’t affect the healing of your current injury. For a broken foot, this means more upper body and abdominal exercises. You can even try adding modified yoga to keep up with flexibility.
Tip # 5 – Time to rest
Allow your body to properly rest and heal. Pushing yourself too hard before your body is ready will only set you back that much further. Once cleared by a doctor, you still want to ease yourself back into exercises. Be careful, and listen to your body when it tells you it’s too soon.
Just because you are dealing with an injury doesn’t mean your fitness goals have to suffer completely. It may be a matter of changing focus and making modifications. Try to stay positive and remember that you will only be stronger from the struggles you face, inside and out. Keep pushing; every journey needs a good story to tell.