Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fitness injury, illness and learning to move forward

We all have days that we would like to take a break from our workouts.  Sometimes your body needs you to rest and other days it perfectly fine, and
good, to continue.  

As cold and flu season is coming (and our beginner half marathon program), let's talk about how know when to rest your body and when it's ok to continue. 

1. The old saying work through the pain is not what has come to be true.  There are times that your body needs a break and there are times to create a workout around your injury.

2. The rule of thumb is those that are already compromised with such diseases such as diabetes, heart conditions or breathing problems should sustain from exercising until recovered from the cold or flu.  
Doctors advise if the symptoms are above the neck such as sore throat or runny nose you are safe to exercise.  You should rest if symptoms experienced are below the neck such as in the lungs, stomach, intestinal or overall body aches or dizziness. 

3. Too much of a good thing is not always good.  
Many people create injuries by over exercising.   Always put a rest day or two in your workout rotation.  Secondly, remember RICE with onset of an injury until you seek medical treatment. 

RICE is an acronym for REST, ICE, COMPRESSION and ELEVATE. 

Once you have sought out medical advice from a doctor discuss ways to continue to benefit from working out
     *Don’t do an activity that involves the injured body part
     *Don’t do it if it hurts
     *Follow your doctor’s orders
4   *Prevent injury with solid training, listening to your body and adding     rest/recovery days
 *Be proactive.  Get familiar with foam rolling (shown in picture and a wonderful way to   break up tight muscles, scar tissues & prevent injury), yoga & stress relief strategies 

4. Don’t allow yourself the excuse that you cannot exercise at all when you have an injury.  
After a knee surgery I continued to teach fitness classes even on crutches!!!  Taking into account that I was already in physically good health modifying my exercise choices was a good option for me.  Obviously running was not the best ideal plan for me or anything that required weight bearing.  In fact I was not allowed to bend my knee.  However I still was able to get my heart rate up to maintain the cardio health I had.  With the use of the stability ball I was able to accomplish a cardio workout along with upper body strength moves on the ball which allowed me to enhance my core strength at the same time. 

Remember always follow medical advice whether it's illness or injury.  But don’t always have to be a fitness victim to your injury.  Just be smart!
-- Written by Angie Conway, OnTrack Fitness personal trainer, Indianapolis IN