Hey, it happens.
Sometimes we get sick or hurt and like it or not…we’re out for the count for a little while.
And even though this is inconvenient at any time…there’s no question that it definitely throws a monkey wrench into the mix when we’re trying to stick with a health and fitness program.
So how does one deal when this happens?
How do you stay on track when life knocks you down physically?
Well, I have a few suggestions.
How to Stay On Track If You’re Sick or Injured
Respect Your Current Condition and Listen to Your Body
Now this may seem obvious, but let me assure you that there are many people out there who ignore messages their bodies are giving them and instead, attempt to ‘work through the pain/ illness’.
This can (and often does) cause a relapse and prolongs the healing process.
I’m not saying that you should forgo all health and wellness activities. I’m only suggesting that you listen to your body and to respectfully work with your current condition(s).
An example of this might be that if you’re nursing a cold…it may be best to take a break from any high intensity exercises and instead, go for a walk at a slower pace outdoors if you have the energy to do so.
You’ll reap the benefits of breathing in some fresh air while moving oxygen around…but by slowing the pace, you won’t be placing any additional stress on your body as it’s trying to heal.
This is a way to do something productive in the presence of an illness while respecting your current condition and temporary limitations.
Get The Facts
Rather than leaving it to guess work, if you’re sick or injured…but still want to maintain an active lifestyle, then make it a point to specifically ask your physician about any contraindications you may have to exercise…and what’s allowed as well.
You may be surprised to find out that physical activity is encouraged, but perhaps at either a lighter intensity…or working out in alternative ways.
For instance, if you’re experiencing knee pain…then running is obviously not in your best interests regardless of how much you enjoy it.
But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
In this case…you can probably do some upper body strength training or perhaps substitute swimming for running.
Find out what you CAN do and stick with it as you heal. You’ll stay connected to the process of well-being as you respect the temporary limitations.
Hey, you never know. You may end up LOVING the substitution so much so that the injury ends up being a blessing in disguise because it ‘forced’ you to expand your horizons and try something new.
Stranger things have happened.
Make Nutrition a Top Priority
This is one of the most powerful things you can do to not only help you stay in alignment with wellness while you’re sick or injured…but it could actually speed up the healing process as well.
There is a specific mindset that goes along with intentionally eating foods that are meant to provide you with everything you need for optimal health.
And I can tell you from personal experience that if you stay in a state of mind that uses nutrition as a tool for wellness…especially in the presence of illness or injury, it makes you feel empowered and enthusiastic.
This is a promise.
Not only do you reap the physical benefits…but the act in and of itself is a sign of self-love, self-care and self-respect. When you are down and out for any reason…what you need is someone to care for you as you recover.
And who better than you, right?
One way to do this is to make sure you have high quality foods around to help heal your body, keep your metabolism elevated and your system functioning properly.
It’s understandable if you’re unable to spend a lot of time (if any) in the kitchen preparing meals. Convenience matters here…so this is where resolve to plan ahead comes in.
A suggestion is to keep a lot of easy foods around such as nuts, sliced fruits and vegetables and things to dip them in such as hummus. Ask someone close to you to bring you some ready made meals such as salads and vegetable soups so you don’t have to wait until you’re starving to make a decision about food that may result in a choice you end up unhappy with.
Stay Positive and Focused on Healing
I know this also sounds cliche’…and believe me, I get it.
It’s really tough to stay in a positive frame of mind when you’re feeling lousy for any reason…and it’s probably that much harder if you’re bedridden.
However, this is also where free will comes in…and an opportunity to exercise it to the best of your ability.
Using my own example…I had broken my foot many years ago and I couldn’t walk, work or do much of anything else. I also lived in a townhouse at the time.
Talk about inconvenient!
And what really sucked was that I had JUST gotten myself into an active routine that included a lot of fitness walking and tennis.
I felt useless, bored and nervous. I ordered pizza almost every day and waited for the days to go by.
Then I noticed something interesting…
I realized that while I hadn’t been active…my good leg was getting stronger, as was my upper body because of having to compensate for the loss of the use of my broken foot (which was in a cast up to my knee).
I actually liked the fact that I was gaining strength in the other areas…and it inspired me to continue on with the healing process in a whole new light.
In hindsight, the whole experience taught me a valuable lesson..which was to not only be mindful of how I moved around in general (as my injury happened as a result of losing my balance during a quick change of direction while playing tennis)…but it also helped me to realize that self-pity and negativity was definitely NOT a good use of my time.
I’ll also mention that like everyone else…I too get sick (as I did last year with a ROTTEN cold).
This time, however, I followed my own advice.
I stayed hydrated, made juice using my juicer…and watched funny videos to make me laugh as often as possible.
I kept my attention focused on healing and nourishment as my body recovered from the stress it was under…and naturally, I didn’t force myself to exercise. When it was time to get back into it, I kept it light as I slowly regained strength.
Focusing on Well-Being
The energy that goes along with the subject of well-being is a positive one.
So if for any reason, you get sick or injured…the way to stay on track is to keep your attention on anything that resembles wellness on all levels.
It not only helps the healing process move along nicely, but it also keeps your attention focused in a way that won’t allow you to fall back into old patterns.
Do you have anything to add? How have you dealt with being sick or injured when you’ve been in the middle of a health and fitness program?