I don't know about you, but for me, this year has not gone according to plan, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I've had a lot of great things happen this year, but I've also had what I think is more than my fair share of injuries, which most have been pretty random. As I reflect on the year so far and my current situation, I am reminded of something that John Lennon once said: “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” The more I reflect on this year, the more I find this to be such a true statement. Although, I know I’m not the only one that has found themself with an injury this year, as I have seen numerous Message Board posts on SparkPeople about members having various injuries and wondering how they can continue their healthy lifestyle plan with the injury.
My latest injury is a torn ligament and broken bone in one of my fingers, which makes everything harder to do one handed, including typing. I also had to have surgery to repair the damage, and that definitely was not in any of my plans for this year. Because of how bad the injury was, I did have to skip out on some workouts, along with alter my original workout schedule, but I didn’t let it get me down or distract me from keeping my healthy habits and reaching my other goals. When injuries happen, it can be really easy to fall in the trap of the “all-or-nothing approach,” but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Below are some tips that I find helpful (and hopefully you will too!) for staying on track with my health and goals, especially for times like now, when I have some form of injury.
Check with your doctor and ask for suggestions based on your injury AND your health history.
Your doctor should be able to tell you whether you can exercise or not, or if there are any limitations with your current situation/injury. If they don’t offer suggestions, ask them. Your doctor should be able to give you some form of suggestions, whether there are things you should do or not do. Either way, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor to be sure you don’t cause more injuries.
Make a new fitness plan or adjust your current plan as needed.
This is an important step because it can set you up for success or failure, and I know we all want to succeed. Make a new fitness plan for yourself or make some adjustments to the plan you were on before the injury. If you currently have your goals set to do cardio for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, but your injury doesn’t allow for that type of goal, change it to something that is more attainable for your current situation. If you are not able to do cardio exercises, but are able to do strength exercises, then set up a plan that will allow you to do that.
If you are not able to exercise, focus more on the nutrition part of your plan.
This is something that I find very helpful in staying on track with my health goals when I have an injury and can’t exercise. This not only makes me more mindful of what I am eating, but I also adjust my calories to my current physical needs. If I am not exercising at all, I adjust my fitness goals to reflect that, which will then make the program recalculate my nutritional needs. With this idea in mind, try aiming for eating more fruits and veggies, drinking more water, or whatever parts of your nutrition plan that you may have been having trouble with. While doing this, you may find a better balance in your nutrition, which will not only help with the healing process, but will also help you when you are fully recovered from your injury.
Focus on the positives.
I know this one is easier said than done. However, focusing on the positives will help you overall, but I think it specifically helps me from giving up on my goals. The last few weeks have been hard on me, but I remind myself of at least a few positive things each day. While there were workouts missed, I did fantastic with my nutrition plan. Patting yourself on the back for passing up something that wasn’t nutritionally wise is a great thing to do (I do this injured or not). Allow yourself to celebrate the small (and big) things that are positives and I’m sure you will find yourself sticking to your goals more often than not.
Have you had any injuries happen this year? If so, how did you handle them when it came to staying on track with your health goals? Do you have any other advice to offer?