Mindset Tips on how Train Through Injury
There's a lot of irony when you train hard and eat well because you get injured far more often than you would if you were a couch potato!
When you suffer from any type of injury, there are two parts of
recovery. The first part of the recovery is the physical, and then,
there is the mental aspect of recovery. A lot of times, people
forget they need to recover mentally from the ways their injury can
affect their mental state also.
When you suffer from an injury, you are normally very restricted and/or limited in what types of exercise and weight-bearing you can do and this will almost always alter your normal training load and progression. If you are injured and aren't getting the same amount of exercise or resistance training, you can easily become frustrated, depressed, and have changes in appetite where you either stop eating, or over indulge in unhealthy foods, which can lead to weight gain or eventuate into an eating disorder.
There are a number of ways to stay positive, continue ahead, and mentally recover and adapt while you are physically healing.
- Change your perspective
I have learnt through many injuries and also recovering from pregnancy that my goals went from progression to prevention - maintain my current weight instead of wanting to lose weight and maintain my current strength and muscle mass instead of losing that strength and muscle mass. Sometimes maintenance of what you physical can do is all you need to keep you in the=at healthy habit loop.
- You have to shift your focus and start goal-setting
Set new, smaller goals for yourself and centre them around assisting your recovery. Attending physio or follow-up Dr's appointments and completing rehabilitation exercises with your personal trainer are a great way to fast-track your recovery as well you still getting that feeling of accomplishment when you start to see progress while staying consistent in your training routine so it doesn't feel as though 'all is lost'.
- Change your mindset to control what I can control
I found little things like continuing to track my food, prepping healthy more enjoyable meals and doing my rehab exercises during the times I would normally train got me through not being able to progress forward with my training but kept me feeling like I was still on track.
In terms of training, if you have an arm injury, try and do more lower body and leg work.
Conversely, if you injure your leg, try and work your upper body. Doing these things still allows you to get some sort of exercise in and that will help to keep you mentally positive.
- Stick to your rehab program
Doing more rehab than recommended does not make you heal faster, and doing less than recommended slows your recovery and you may not fully recover. If you are feeling unmotivated, ask your Trainer to incorporate some of your rehab into the end of your session to help keep you accountable.
- Try and stay in your routine
Try and stick to your normal social and training routine as much as possible. If you are still regularly communicating, interacting and socializing with family and your 'gym friends you will not feel as down about being injured.
- Stay positive
Remember that you will eventually recover and not continue to be injured if you treat your injury with respect. If you do the recommended recovery and do not push yourself to heal, eventually you will be able to go back to all your normal activities.
No one wants to be injured, but take that forced down-time to think about what has it allowed you to do that you haven't necessarily had the time to do before.
Staying in the habit loop of your current exercise and nutrition
routine as motivation falls off will mean the healthy habit will
keep you going and will help you bounce back!