You have been working on yourself and putting in the time at the gym, going the extra mile, and making efforts to squeeze workouts into your busy schedule. You have been pushing yourself to get fitter and faster. You started feeling good already and started to stay committed and consistent until the unthinkable yet inevitable happens; you get injured. This was definitely not part of your plan.
Whether you are someone who regularly exercises and your workouts are part of your daily routine or a beginner who just recently found momentum, injuries are just sad. It is really challenging to stay motivated when you are required not to do the activities that you enjoy, whether it is advised by your doctor or just because of your own pain level. How can you find the drive to keep pushing forward and staying focused on your fitness journey?
At first, it is normal to experience negative feelings such as anger, frustration, and even sadness when an injury happens. You might find yourself spending some time and overthinking about how it could have been prevented and asking yourself several questions including “Why did it happen?” and “why to me?”, but after a day or two of pity or even a week, you must pick yourself up, refocus, and create a new plan.
It’s all about mental toughness. Are you going to let this unfortunate injury defeat and control you, or are you going to turn it into an opportunity to refocus and create something great?
Have therapy sessions
Having therapy or rehab sessions includes participation in intensive activities to bring your body back to its previously healthy condition. Along the process, therapy sessions to address an injury can get tiring and discouraging. Doctors usually educate the patients about the importance of continuing their therapy in order to reach their full recovery so that the patients stay motivated. Seeing the big picture of what they can and will accomplish is a way of encouragement for the patients.
Being with the right and best therapist, including the highly-recommended physio clinic in Werribee area for example, can make a difference in recovering from an injury. These professionals will be able to deal with patients who complain about pain or their tolerance about the therapy and ensure they stay motivated.
It’s all about developing mental toughness
There are diverse ways to develop mental toughness. Mental toughness, as Armstrong believes, is a process. A key element in mental toughness is being focused. It has a lot to do with positive self-talk as well as keeping distractions at bay. Other key components of developing the mental toughness to help overcome an injury include breathing exercises, self-awareness, and pushing yourself to your limits in order to improve. Aside from mental toughness, overcoming an injury also includes finding, sourcing and having the motivation to do so.
How to motivate yourself
Create a new goal
Signed up for a 5K run next month? You might not be able to do it, but that does not mean you will be unproductive. You can consider signing up for another race after a few months and put your efforts today in therapy and into rehabbing the injury. Instead of dreading the exercises that will help you recover, take them as the next physical challenge to conquer.
If you cannot do the same workout routine that you did prior to your injury, are there other activities that you can try? Can you do a seated workout? How about biking? You can ask your doctor for specific instructions and guidelines on what you can and cannot do. Also, as always, you have to listen to your body. You do not want to push through pain, but finding pain-free activities can be a good experiment.
Tracking progress is a good visual reminder. It helps you see what you have accomplished whenever you feel or it seems like you are not improving. Record your gains in strength, your weekly accomplishments, compare the things you did this week that you were not able to do previously, cardio endurance improvements, and other highlights. You can actually have a motivational chart for this.
An injury is really difficult especially when you were able to build momentum prior to having one, but with the right mindset, a specific plan of action, proper therapy, and consistency in improving yourself physically and mentally, you can get through it and take it as an amazing learning experience.
Just be patient and be open to anything because physical fitness can be achieved by anyone who has motivation.