No one is immune to physical injuries and setbacks. No matter how strong you are or how much you know about movement, posture, and muscle strengthening and conditioning, you will likely experience physical injuries or setbacks at some point. This does not have to be an excuse for giving up or a source of frustration. There is usually a way to keep going. The focus needs to be on what you can still do rather than on what you may not be able to do right now.
Let’s talk about injuries. Knowing how to manage injuries can be key to a speedy recovery. A person must first assess what damage has been done and how it will affect functionality. If a surgery is needed then the person must listen to the doctor’s orders, but a good question to ask the doctor is what can I still do? You might have a leg injury and the doctor doesn’t want you to weight bear, but maybe you can still work some of the leg muscles by sitting in a chair with wheels and propelling yourself forward and back. Even wiggling your toes or pumping your ankles can work important muscles.
Ask about ice. Most injuries benefit from an application of ice. Sometimes doctors don’t specifically mention icing an injury, but check to make sure it’s acceptable. Controlling inflammation with ice can speed up recovery.
Find out if lymphatic drainage is safe for your condition. Lymphatic drainage is very effective at removing inflammation and congestion that can develop. When congestion is allowed to stagnate in tissues adhesions can develop which can cause pain and limit range-of-motion. I am certified in lymphatic drainage and see the amazing benefits it provides in the healing process. If your doctor says it’s okay then consider making an appointment and letting me flush out the excess fluid and design a muscle recovery program specifically for your needs.
Stretching is also important during the recovery process so ask your doctor if gentle stretching movements can be performed. Muscles that don’t move can shorten and become tight so if gentle stretching can be done then tissues can remain at the right length and tension. If you do not feel like you can adequately stretch by yourself then make an appointment and I can help you.
One of the most devastating side effects of injuries is the collateral damage done to surrounding tissues, especially if they have to be immobile for many weeks. Asking your doctor what you can do instead of what you cannot do can help tremendously in speeding up recovery and making that recovery as complete as possible.
Now let’s talk about setbacks. To me setbacks pertain more to situational problems as opposed to physical injuries which may cause mobility problems. Examples of a situational problems are you no longer have a car so you cannot get to the gym anymore, you are home with a sick child, you have to travel, your job has changed or you have to take a second job. Change often destabilizes us and leaves us unsettled. Trying to adjust to these changes can be overwhelming at first. This is where your determination, flexibility and gratitude can either be strengthened or left to die.
I think the first thing you need to do is be grateful you still have your health. Then start assessing the situation (just like you have to do when a physical injury occurs). Observe your new routine and identify places or opportunities where you can incorporate exercise. Maybe you can work out at another time or you might have to break-up the workout into smaller parts. At first a solution may not be ideal and it might not work, but the important thing is to keep trying. I know when I moved I had to start counting pushing the lawnmower as my cardio. Standing in line can be an opportunity to stretch, do calf raises or balance on one foot. Sitting at a red light is a fine time to tighten core muscles. You could do a whole workout standing in the kitchen while cooking… counter push-ups, single-leg or two-leg squats, calf raises, triceps dips, grab a couple cans or packages of food (or put several cans in a bag) and do biceps curls, shoulder presses, front raises, lateral raises or triceps kickbacks. Five pounds of flour can be held with both hands and used to do overhead presses while squatting. The possibilities are endless.
I can design a workout program for most situations so if you sign up for a few sessions and I can help you design a program to fit your needs and lifestyle.