Maintaining Fitness Through Injury and Illness
By Melissa Ingram, Clinical Services Manager
Inevitably there are times in life when we’ve finally got ourselves into an exercise routine that we enjoy AND is beneficial… when ‘disaster’ strikes. ‘Disaster’ is possibly an over-exaggeration but how do you maintain fitness through injury or illness?
How do you ‘get back on the bike’?
Luckily there are often alternatives, we simply need to be aware and change things up a bit. If you can’t swim, then try walking. If walking is painful then try a stationary bike. If you have a cold then rest is in order…..a cold will elevate your heart rate and exercise will exacerbate and prolong symptoms.
Don’t go broke.
This is a situation where not exercising is beneficial to your health, both short and long term. Think of a bank where you store your energy – things that withdraw energy need to be balanced by things that deposit it. A cold will take energy out of the bank, whereas rest and gentle exercise will allow you to make a deposit. It’s important to know that work, intense exercise, stress, and general busy-ness also withdraws from your bank so keep a good balance and you will also help prevent injury/illness in the first instance.
Seek medical advice.
When physically you carry a niggle, get it assessed and treated by your practitioner of choice and follow their guidance. Understand that in most circumstances there are usually alternatives you can try to keep you moving and maintain your fitness. Ask your health professional for advice on alternative movement and see if there are things you could trial.
Keep it varied.
The secret is to be a jack of all trades so that there are always alternatives if one proves problematic. When you can’t run, think about riding your bike, do some resistance training, walk or swim. Simply keep a variety of activities each week and vary the amount of each one as your physical capacity (or whim) allows.