Keeping fit is essential to leading a healthy lifestyle. Getting plenty of exercise now can increase your life expectancy and quality. It can reduce your chances of serious illness as you age, and help you to feel happier, more confident and stronger as you tackle life’s obstacles. Whether you are training for an event, a keen fitness fanatic or just someone that likes to take good care of themselves with regular activity, exercise is fantastic.
But, despite regular exercise, a healthy diet and trying your best to look after yourself, no one is immune from injury or illness. We all get sick occasionally, and no matter how strong and healthy you are, you are still at risk of injury, even when taking the right precautions to avoid it.
When these illnesses and injuries hit, it can feel like you’ve hit a brick wall. If you take your fitness regime seriously, or you’ve been training for a specific event or occasion, suddenly being unable to train can be a big knock. Even if your exercise is more casual, unexpectedly finding yourself unable to go to the gym, or out for a run when you need a bit of time out, can affect your fitness levels, your confidence and even your mental health.
But, you don’t have to let it. Being ill, or injured, even long-term doesn’t mean that you have to spend all of your time lying in bed or on the sofa. It doesn’t have to mean that your fitness levels plummet, or that you can’t keep training in some other form. There’s nothing to stop you keeping your fitness levels up, even if you can’t perhaps keep pushing yourself as hard as you are used to.
Listen to Your Body
Whether you are sick, or injured, or even completely healthy, it’s always crucial to listen to your body. If your body is telling you that you need to stop, to take a break or to slow things down, do it. Trust your instincts and don’t push yourself too hard.
If you are ill, what you can do will depend on the illness itself. If you are just struggling with a cough and a cold, you can probably carry on your usual training plans, just slow down a little instead of pushing forwards. For anything more severe, you might want to take some time away from strenuous exercise and instead focus on building your strength back up.
When it comes to injury, you may need to rest the injured area, and build it back up slowly, but you might be able to focus on other areas of fitness. Whatever you do, be sure to listen to your body and do what it needs.
Seek Medical Advice
For mild aches and pains and coughs and colds, you might be able to rely on your own instincts and feelings. But, if you are struggling with anything more severe, you should seek medical advice before returning to your regular exercise. Ask your doctor for help building a new exercise plan. Or, see a personal trainer at your health center for advice on how best to work out without causing your body further distress.
Even if your doctor gives you the all clear, make sure you go back for further advice if your injury seems to be getting worse, or isn’t improving as you might have hoped.
Look After Your Mental Health
Exercise is great for your mental health. It helps to give you focus and burn off any stress. It can boost your adrenaline levels, help you to balance your hormones and give your confidence a massive boost. When you are training, you can feel great. Seeing yourself getting better at something can make you feel wonderful. Going out for a run after a long day can ease your stress and help you to sleep. Then, when you can’t do it, you can feel lost.
It’s essential that you look after your mental health as much as your physical fitness while you are injured. Contact Serious Injury Law Group if you think that you’ve got a case, as a win can give you a big boost. Make sure you are speaking to your friends and family, and get as much fresh air as you can to help reduce your stress levels and ensure that you feel as though you are doing your best for yourself.
When you are sick or injured, and you can’t move as well, as usual, it can be tempting to fall into bad habits. You can easily find yourself binging on comfort food and enjoying more treats than usual in a bid to improve your mood. It won’t work. You might get a short-term high, but you’ll feel guilty, you’ll gain weight, and your health will suffer further.
Instead of using your situation as an excuse to overindulge, see it as a chance to pay more attention to your diet. Spend your extra time trying out some new healthy recipes and on meal planning and prep.
Get Some Rest
When you are ill or injured, it’s essential that you rest. In most cases, it’s what your body needs more than anything else. You might feel as though taking some extra time out to rest will see your fitness levels fall further, but giving your body the rest that it needs can see you return to full fitness much sooner.
Watch Your Step Count
You might not be able to spend hours in the gym, but you can probably still walk, even if it’s quite slow. Try to walk as much as you can. Walk to work and to the shops, and aim to slowly increase your step count until you build up to at least 10000.
Spend Some Time in the Water
Swimming can be a great way to keep up your activity levels while you are injured. Being in the water puts your body under much less pressure than running or even walking would. At the same time, the water adds resistance to your workout. It’s a brilliant way to get some exercise and work your muscles without putting excess pressure on your joints or overexerting yourself.
Visit the Gym
Being ill or injured and unable to give your body a thorough workout or continue your usual exercise plan doesn’t mean that you can’t go to the gym. Even if you can’t work out, you can still visit. Just being in the building, soaking up the atmosphere can help you to feel better.
This can help you to get back into things sooner and mean that you are keener to get going again when you can. Stay away from the gym for too long, and you might find that you lose the desire to go completely. You might find that you start making excuses not to go back, and drag things out for longer than you need to.
Obsessing over your fitness can just make things worse. You’ll get upset about what you can’t do. You’ll feel bad. You might even feel as though you are letting yourself down and not doing enough. Give yourself a break. Do what you can, but don’t worry about it too much. A few weeks off isn’t the end of the world.
Illness and injury can be upsetting. Especially when it’s serious. But, as long as you know your body, you listen to it and you don’t push yourself too hard, there’s no reason that it should completely stop you from enjoying exercise and maintaining at least some level of fitness and activity.