Injuries can be a blessing in disguise. It can be easy to be sidetracked or frustrated by an injury, but I’ve found that there are actually 3 key things you can do to maintain your healthy lifestyle and actually keep adding lean mass & burning fat off (so you don’t gain bulk/fat) during the time it takes to recover from an injury.
- Use this time to really focus on your Nutrition. Almost 3/4 of our physique results from our diet. And possibly even more during a time when you cannot workout as much. If you follow a meal plan, make sure to not add in any extra nibbles & be 100% perfect with your food. If you don’t have a current meal plan, I have some sample meal plans in my blog called “What do You Eat?” When we are training hard, it’s easy to justify an extra few almonds or protein powder or (insert your favorite cheat), so being out of your normal workout routine is a GREAT time to practice the good habit of following your meal plan to a T. And remember to drink that gallon of water a day as well to keep your metabolism going!
- If you can workout, Lift the body parts that you can — This will actually help get blood flowing and may help your injury recover faster. Then follow it with light cardio (with whatever works for you — walking, rowing, biking, elliptical, swimming, etc). Doing 15-40 minutes of cardio AFTER you lift will increase the amount of fat-burned — Check out this Univ. of Michigan study on why cardio is better after lifting weights to get leaner .
- Find something you enjoy to do to release stress & let your body recharge. Sometimes and injury or sickness is just your body’s way of saying it needs a break. So let it have one, it will come back stronger and with more energy. Don’t stress 🙂 . (i know much easier said than done). What are some other interests you have that maybe you haven’t explored? Now you have time to do that! It’s a great time to develop a new skill or hobby.
So, instead of moping with an injury, use it to Your advantage! I know several fitness competitors who have been sick or injured during a show prep & took time off the gym to let their bodies recover. AND they came into their show looking the Best they ever had! Show your body some love and it will love you back! 🙂
This is my coach Genn Strobo — During her prep for the Arnold 2015, she was admitted to the hospital for 13 days and could not workout at all, but she let her body recover & came on stage with one of her Best looks to date!
I hope this encourages anyone with an injury, or having to take a fitness break due to time or sickness.