Keeping Up The Momentum - Staying Motivated Through Injuries

You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete or marathon runner to be passionate and dedicated to an exercise or sport. For some people exercise provides stress relief, a sense of freedom or the satisfaction of reaching a personal goal.  For others it may be a social experience or simply the ability to enjoy a cookie without worrying about extra calories. No matter what your reason for exercising, when an injury threatens to sideline you it can quickly start to negatively affect your mood. Most injured athletes feel lost without their daily routine or worry all their hard work will go to waste.  But no athlete is immune to injury, and some of us have been there ourselves.    So if you find yourself injured, here’s some basic steps you can take to keep your spirits high and your frustration level down while allowing your injury to heal. Know what you’re dealing with so you can set your plan of attack. First, acknowledge the injury and learn more about it.  See a doctor or specialist so you know what you are dealing with.  You need an understanding of the rehabilitation process including recommended exercises and activities that won’t aggravate your injury.  Simply knowing what to expect can help you handle the situation with a better attitude. Next, think about what you can do instead of focusing on what you can’t do.  Let’s face it, a long distance runner probably won’t get the same rush on the elliptical trainer or bike.  But there are ways to make it more fun, and even challenging.  Don’t just hop on the machine for a session of steady state cardio.  We found high intensity interval training, (HIIT) doing 30 seconds of moderate effort followed by 30 of intense effort, not only kept boredom away but was fun, challenging and resulted in a great workout. For athletes who like to stay in specific heart rate zones, downloading an elliptical or bike workout designed for your zone is a great idea. Here are some great ones from High Energy Fitness and iTrain. Injured athletes have reported that keeping in the heart rate range they were accustomed helped keep the positive momentum going. For runners dealing with a long-term injury, fear of losing muscle or speed can be major concern.  But multiple research studies have shown deep water running with a weighted belt is an effective method of maintaining performance while healing from injury.  Runners World has even developed a nine-week deep water running plan for those looking to stay in shape while healing from injury. We tried it and, while it could take some getting used to, found deep-water running was a real alternative for injured runners. Because water provides resistance without any impact, deep-water running is a great option, even for those whose injuries are too severe or painful for an exercise bike or elliptical trainer. How Kinesiology Tape WorksHealing and Beyond As your injury starts to heal recognizing your limits is key.  Don’t go 100% the first day you feel pain free. This can set back your progress and lead to re-injury.  A gradual return to your normal activity is the best approach. Kinesiology tape can also play a significant role in the rehabilitation and recovery process. Not only can kinesiology tape help relive pain and speed healing, it’s thin and flexible properties help to provide support while still allowing range of motion. The natural elasticity of the tape creates a microscopic lifting action of the skin that activates both neurological and circulatory healing mechanisms which has been shown to help restore strength to weak and injured muscles, enhance muscle tone, reduce fatigue, and improve circulation. Unlike traditional athletic tape, most kinesiology tape applications can be worn for up to 5 days, and remain supportive even during showering, swimming and intensive exercise. The therapeutic benefits accumulate 24/7 for the entire time the tape is worn. The right kinesiology taping method for your injury For more information on the benefits of kinesiology tape or to find the right taping method for your specific injury, visit the Theratape Education Center Stay up to date with Theratape.com! Sign up for our Newsletter or connect with us on social media via FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Keeping Up The Momentum - Staying Motivated Through Injuries

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