Sometimes switching it up is fun. So, today on Hoboken Girl, we will begin featuring readers once in a while… like local Hoboken girl and reader Shaye Walsh who wants to share about the struggle of injury — which she knows about all too well. Here are her tips and advice on maintaining strength–both physically and mentally–through the though time and how to get through recovery:
Injuries are never fun, especially when you are used to an active and energetic lifestyle. As a single mom with two young kids (one two legged, one four legged), I try to be as healthy as possible, and set an example for them. I love running, I play on my company’s softball team, and I make sure to eat right and maintain a healthy household. But being this active can sometimes take its toll, and injuries are often unavoidable when it comes to marathon running, weight lifting, and mountain biking. It’s easy to get down when you’re injured and let your physical health affect you emotionally and mentally. But over the years I’ve found some ways to get through the pain, while maintaining a hopeful attitude and positive outlook.
Every injury is different, which means that every recovery process is going to be different too. Setting goals allows you to stay focused on your rehabilitation, and look forward to recovery. Work with your doctor to set mini-milestones along the way. If they tell you that you’ll be back to running in six weeks, mark that date on your calendar. Then figure out when you’ll be walking again, and mark that date too. This will give you things to work for, and will help you realize that your injury won’t last forever.
Do What You Can
Depending on your injury, you may still be able to do some physical activity, even if it isn’t everything you’d normally do. With your doctor’s permission, swimming can be a great way to stay active and physical, without the high impact of running. If you’ve injured your arm, the stationary bike can be a great way to keep your legs moving without the fear of re-injuring your arm (only with your doctor’s permission!). Even though these activities may not seem like a lot, you’ll be amazed at how good you feel just by moving around and staying active. An injury doesn’t have to mean complete immobility, so it’s important to do what you can.
Don’t Forget the Food
An injury can make you feel like you are being really unhealthy without your normal exercise and physical activity, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Focus on eating well, and use this as an opportunity to explore new health foods. During my last injury, I started making green smoothies, using kale, spinach, and a variety of different fruits and veggies. It was a fun new snack, and a great way to get a lot of nutrients. Plus, it made me happy and gave me a lot of energy, even though I wasn’t able to go running or go for a hike.
During my last injury my mother sent me a get well gift of dipped strawberries. At first I was upset because I didn’t need the temptation. Allowing myself one per day, however, made me feel great. I tricked myself into thinking I was indulging but I really wasn’t. It allows you to keep your spirits up. There is more to your health than just your physical activity, and just because you’re injured, it doesn’t mean you have to stop being healthy altogether.
Discover New Hobbies
Going through an injury can make you feel like you can’t do anything at all, but it’s actually a really great time to explore new interests and discover new hobbies. You may even find a new skill you never knew you had! When my leg was broken, I started taking a painting class, and now painting is one of my favorite things to do on a quiet night in. Think of something you’ve always wanted to try, that isn’t too physically taxing, and use your injury as a time where you can slow down and let yourself do something new. Suddenly your injury will be a much more positive time and you’ll be amazed at how happy you will be.
To those of us who are active we only view an injury as a set back. Try to think of it more as a reset. A reset of ourselves. It allows us to become more intune with things in our lives we normally neglected due to our workout regiment, or our need to constantly be on the go. There is much more out there than just running or working out, and an injury is a great “excuse” to open our eyes beyond the barbell and see what else we may love.
I wish any of you with injuries a fast, and painless recovery!
To get to know Shaye a little more, visit her blog!
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