Making healthy eating and exercise part of your everyday routine is what leads to long term changes. So what happens when you get out of your routine? In my newsletter this month, I discuss how to pick back up with healthy eating when you overindulge. But how about when you are forced to break your exercise routine due to injury or illness?
It can be very frustrating to have to suddenly stop the momentum you have built up. However, it is important to know when take a break. Trying to work through an injury can cause long-term problems. So how do you keep from turning into a couch potato and keep up your motivation when you are sidelined from exercise?
It’s probably not going to last forever
First, realize that this is a temporary setback. Sitting out for a few days or weeks will not undo all the hard work you have put in. Second, do what you can to stay active while working around your injury or illness. If you are sick with something serious, like the flu, give your body the rest it needs to recover. But if you have something less serious, like a cold, and you feel able to do so, exercising may actually speed your recovery.
Try something different
Sometimes you can work around an injury. Say you are a runner and have injured your knee. If you normally run on the treadmill and do strength training at the gym, try to do some upper body strength training exercises at home. If you are a swimmer with an injured shoulder, you may want to try running and focus on lower body exercises.
Lose the all or nothing attitude
Exercise, like eating healthy, is not an all or nothing situation. Things happen that are beyond our control. Learning to deal with these setbacks without being totally derailed is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With a little imagination and a little determination, you can conquer the roadblocks that are always part of life and keep moving forward.