When injuries and illnesses interfere with your fitness goals. 4 tips that will help keep you on track.

To be honest, I love to work out. I love being active. I really, honestly do. But I also struggle with it. It seems like every time I take 2 steps forward in my fitness journey, I end up taking 3 steps back. Something will happen to throw me off course.

A cold.

The flu.

A stiff neck.

A sore leg or knee.

A bad headache.

Stress.

I need to come up with a plan so I can conquer these setbacks. Because let’s face it, once you stop, it’s REALLY hard to start again. I need a plan that will allow me to stay on track regardless of what’s going on in my life.

when injuries and illnesses interfere with your fitness goals

Here’s what I have planned.

  1. Create a schedule that’s realistic and achievable. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure before you even begin. Check here and here for examples of a workout schedule.
  2. Check you self-talk. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a workout. Be nice and encouraging. Say things like “this isn’t permanent”, “I will succeed”, “I’ll try again tomorrow”, “it’s only for today”. You are your own personal trainer. You would fire a trainer that said negative things to you. Am I right? So why say it to yourself?
  3. Be sensible. If you’ve got the flu and you’re constantly running to the bathroom, it’s pretty safe to say that your workout for the day has been flushed down the toilet along with your supper. Right? Your body needs a chance to heal and rest. Give it the time it needs. And don’t stress over it. Relax. Rest. Don’t worry. * General rule of thumb is: if you’re sick from the neck up (cold, cough), it’s ok to exercise. If you’re sick from the neck down (flu, GI issues), take a break.
  4. Do what you can. If you’re too sick or injured to run, go for a walk. If you can’t stand up for long periods of time, do a few exercises sitting down. It’s better than nothing. Exercise will boost your immune system and will give you more energy. Even though you’ve modified your workout, that’s ok. At least you’re still going. You haven’t given up. Don’t focus on what you can’t do. Focus on what you can do.

Right now, I’m 10 days into my new workout. I started day 1 super pumped and excited. I did great for the first 2 days. Then I got sick. Then I woke up with a stiff neck for 5 days. Then I got sick again. After those first 2 days, I managed to run for 15 minutes on one day only and I walked on my treadmill this morning. I thought I was either going to die or pass out during that run. I felt so sick and I had no energy. Today, I felt so guilty for having skipped so many workouts, I decided to at least walk. I’m so glad I did. I still feel sick, but I do feel better. I should not have felt guilty though. I’m still working on that!

I can’t wait to finally feel like myself again. For the first time in my life, I can’t wait to work out regularly again. It feels completely crazy to me. Like I’ve said earlier, I do truly enjoy being active, but it’s never come easy to me. I hit so many roadblocks in my life. This time though, I’m prepared. Just because I took a week off, doesn’t mean I’m done. I haven’t failed. I just took a detour. My eyes are still set on my goal.

I will get stronger…I am getting stronger.

I will run faster.

I will have more energy.

I will run a 5 km race this summer.

I won’t be the last one to finish the race…ha! ha!

I refuse to let an illness or an injury keep me down for good. I will continue to get up again. And again. And again. As many times as necessary.

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3 thoughts on “When injuries and illnesses interfere with your fitness goals. 4 tips that will help keep you on track.

  1. Oh I hear you! I am on week 6 of working on my health and this week was going awesome and I thought yes I am finally go to work out 5 day this week and the last few days I have had the stomach bug! I will get back to it when this passes for sure! Keep up the hard work! Found you at Fitness Friday Link Up!

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