"Sometimes when you get injured, you feel like you can use it as an excuse to eat all the food you want and not workout at all" (Samar Haroon) ...we're all guilty. But now is the time to focus on your mental health and nutrition.
If you're an avid exerciser, you've most likely experienced an injury at one point or another. Whether it was doing too much in the gym or getting unlucky outside of the gym, its not fun to give up something that makes you feel good. Either way, an injury plays a role in your mental health, just as much as physical.
It takes two to four weeks to lose strength and conditioning, but the mental impact of removing exercise from your routine happens almost immediately.
Here's how you can care for both your mental and physical health when you're dealing with an injury.
1. 1-3 day break
Not a big deal. Taking a few days off can prevent the injury from getting worse and rest is important so you can kill it when you get back in the gym. Use your time to plan your next few workouts. It's temporary. Reach out to people who have had the same injury. Try some meditation. Ease your mind.
2. 1-2 week break
Might feel like a big deal, but no need to cry....yet. Figure out what you can do as a substitute. For example, if you injured your foot, find some good upper body exercises to do. When something is in pain, that's how the body communicates that you're at risk of injury. Don't ignore it. Figure out the cause of the pain and address it. Usually stretching and form rolling come in to play more often.
3. 2+ month break
Okay you can cry a little here. Make sure you have a strong social support team. Nutrition becomes SUPER key here. Also, doing your physical therapy exercises, if you have any. Consider other exercise options depending on what injury you have.
Overall, you will get through it. A permanent injury just leads to modifications. A temporary injury will give you a nice break. Either way, stay positive. Reach out for help.
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