If you know anything about me, I’ve always been a health and fitness addict. From college soccer, to triathlons, to now lifting some serious weights in the gym, minute injuries can really throw my daily routine out of whack!
Since August, I have gone from running full out sprints and serious bootcamp workout classes combined with weight lifting to dwindle down to just rowing on the rowing machine and getting my heart rate up any way I can without hurting my leg. The orthopedic doctor says it may be a tear in my hip, but prescribed to try to do physical therapy for a month before I get an MRA or any type of surgery.
SO, instead of the confused and failing physical therapy I’ve been doing on myself since November, I’m finally starting the real deal (physical therapy) TOMORROW. YAY!
I’m not here to have a pity party. In fact, I know I’m blessed beyond words and this is just a small, small part of my overall health. It may seem selfish or petty to be bummed about leg, but exercise is my stress reliever, my endorphin releaser, and it makes me sleep like a baby! Not to mention I miss the camaraderie of my pals in my workout classes, and running and biking with my girlfriends.
Whenever my leg acts up, I think to myself, there is God trying to tell me to slow down in life. So, let’s turn this mess into something marvelous! (sounds like something Joyce Meyer would say). I’m sharing 3 tips for athletes and fitness junkies to keep their sanity through coping with injuries, and not losing all their momentum and progress in the gym and in the kitchen.
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Focus on what you CAN do. In most cases, swimming can be a great alternative to pounding the pavement when running or biking. To get my fix today, I’ll be doing the arm bike (HA!) and plenty of ab exercises along with my physical therapy movements. Hurt your leg? Do pushups and pull-ups for cardio. Hurt your shoulder? Try air squats and lunges.
Your nutrition doesn’t have to suffer. Unless you are really down for the count, you can still maintain your progress through a nice and clean nutrition plan. If you are spending less time in the gym, you can spend more time meal-prepping! Whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel and demolish a box of cookies because you are sad about your injury. It will only create more mood swings. You may actually need to tighten up on your nutrition if you are doing less physical exercise than normal. You could even consult with a health coach to get some guidance based on your goals.
Keep your sanity. If the thought of not going to the gym depresses you, go! Outside of your formal physical therapy, do your at-home physical therapy in the gym. You will get out of the house or the office and see your workout buddies and still be working on yourself. Foam roll if necessary. Get in the whirlpool, sauna, ice bath, or whatever therapeutic services your gym offers. Find your mental “fix” for when you can’t run sprints or go to spin class. If that means hot yoga, or deep tissue massage, go for it.
About the Blogger:
Shannon Gagnon is the recipe developer, food stylist and food photographer behind Crawfish & Crunches. She is known for turning delicious southern staples into slightly healthier versions that can be enjoyed all week long. On her blog you can find just what the tagline says, “Realistic recipes, rich southern culture, and health conscious habits.”
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