Lynn Gray, M.S. – RRCA certified coach
What do we do when an injury occurs in the sport we love? When a setback occurs I prescribe what is called “moving medicine” or alternative ways of staying fit. With most sports related injuries we can expect to be sidelined on an average of 2-3 months; enough time to lose much of the fitness gains made. Let’s imagine not losing fitness; but rather maintain and possibly increase physical fitness by channeling energies and our “well” body parts into another sport. Further, let’s explore other aspects of becoming fit which will help support a quick return to the sport you had to stop.
1. Stay with your established frequency of exercise. Replace those same days and time with a new exercise(s) which can be spinning, biking, swimming, weight trainings, or yoga to mention a few.
2. Duration is key. Take the same amount of time you take on your usual sport and pursue the new movement. If time allows, you can double the duration. Movement should last at least the same amount of minutes; or hours depending on the day you routinely workout.
3. Set a fitness goal right away for your previous sport or the new one. Some examples are: a return to a doubles match, a 5K walk or run, a century bike ride or a sprint triathlon. Be confident that with a well thought out three month training plan, your “new” muscles will be strong enough to complete it. The cardio part may be somewhat lessened depending upon the intensity of how you pursue your new exercise.
4. Movement is for the mind. Do not underestimate the mental importance of movement. Stopping in your tracks after an injury will devastate positive mental thinking. Get right “back on the horse”; be it a bike, spinner, rowing machine, etc. Again, change the exercise venue, but stay with your original “moving” time routine.
5. Keep it outside. Try your best to train outside if at all possible. Endorphins kick in when working outside giving a more elevated mood. Even if it is just a walk; put on hiking boots and hand weights then walk. That is plenty of resistance beyond an “easy walk”. Walking is the best medicine for overall physical fitness and mental well-being.
6. Add resistance with your new sport. If you are sidelined from running; get on the bike and do hill repeats; if you a swimmer and have a bad rotator cup; get into water jogging and do physical therapy exercises to make the arm stronger. If you are a biker; get into running with various degrees of leg turnover. If no impact sports are allowed; learn a non-impact one such as yoga or Tai Chi. Sit down yoga or beginner yoga will challenge the muscles, balance, flexibility, and breathing.
7. Keep your friends and make new ones. Join your friends at least once a week; and either ride a bike while they run, meet them after their tennis match for breakfast, or after your new workout. Welcome new folks you meet and encourage them to see your other main sport upon your comeback.
In closing; remember to keep moving. Stay in tune with the basics of movement; routine, duration, frequency, resistance. Above all, make it fun and share your new physical fitness ideas with your friends.
About the author: Lynn Gray, has over 1,200 parachute jumps doing acrobatics and landing on the size of a dime with an impact rates of jumping from second story building. She has a brown belt in Karate, completed 94 marathons, 12 Boston marathons, and has won her age group throughout all her years of competition. Lynn has in fact, had every injury mentioned above and then some after 45 years or more of competition.
Contact: 813-453-7885 – Lgray88@yahoo.com. www.FirstStepPrograms.com
15100 Hutchison Rd. Suites 121-122, Tampa, FL 33625 (near Ehlich Rd. & Hutchinson)
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