How do I cope if I'm injured and can't work out?

Sadie Lincoln
Sadie Lincoln on behalf of barre3
Injury is a common part of life and can be especially stressful for those of us who exercise regularly. Of course the goal is to create fitness practices that prevent injury, but even the most diligent of us end up sidelined at times. I suggest a shift in perspective. As hard as it is to do, think of your time away from exercise as an opportunity to properly heal your body and do some inward reflection. Transitioning quickly from a lifestyle full of activity and sport to one much more sedentary can be your time to slow down and just breathe. If I hear from a client who can no longer come to class because she has hurt herself, I encourage her to look at this as a time to “workout” internally. Meditation and leisurely walks (if it is safe for you) have amazing healing benefits. I would also encourage you to speak to your practitioner about alternative rehabilitative exercises that will keep you moving and strong as you restore your body.
Vincent Burke
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

After many years of treating people who have injuries I focus on the what "I CAN DO". It is important to figure out what is injured and what is the movement parameters that are not harmful to the area of insult. This may take rest and/or professional care such as a Physical Therapist or an Orthopedist to assist you in this process. Not exercising can be very depressing but if we look at the positive and move what we can it will make you feel better. Many times people in the gym injure one body part and so it may be a good time to actively rest that body part (move it without pain) and focus on the other 90% of the body.

Today, many great workouts are available with using body weight (BW) which decreases the load and modifies the strains and stresses on the body. Just doing BW exercises may be a good start i.e. Wall pushups not ground pushups or bench exercises, ride bike if can't run, work upper body not lower and vice versa. It is rare to see a person who has more inured body parts/regions than not and so if we exercise  what we have not injured we will often feel better.

I have studied with the founder of Total Motion Release and in my studies the  results were amazing. We focus on moving the "Healthy" which influences the injured. Most of the times unless it is a traumatic or diseased injury it is from OVER- USE or MIS- USE. This may be a time when the body is telling you to slow down and take a break. It is a good time to explore different ways to exercise. I have many runners who only feel they exercise when they run. If they can't run they do nothing. I educate them on over-use injuries and show them that the body is breaking down and they need to do other types of training.

This brings us to "cross training" doing many different body parts, breaking up the intensity and with/without resistance, BW, cardio and core for an example. This can be done in one or several sessions. If we confuse our body and don't spend too much time doing the same thing we will lessen the chances of injury. Have a great workout resting the injured and moving what can you will feel better. 

Dealing with an injury can be a trying ordeal to go through especially when it derails your fitness goals. If you can’t work out there are still things you can do to be healthy while recovering from a workout. Depending on the injury you can still be active around your home and in your daily activities. Being active and being outdoors especially has been shown to improve mood and relieve feelings of mild depression. Be as active as you can and engage yourself in activities you enjoy and can do safely while waiting to heal from your injury.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.