Let’s Get Physical, Physical!
Let me hear your body talk!! Olivia Newton John entertained all of us with that song in the 80’s. Now, let’s think about the words. Our bodies talk to us every day, all day long! But are we listening? We listen to our bodies when it’s convenient for us. There is a balance that can be tricky to find. I have found that there are two kinds of people—the one who stays home from a work out with a hangnail, and the one who drags themselves to the gym when their bodies are crying out for rest and healing. The key is to LISTEN to your body. Know WHEN to get physical and understanding WHAT is going to be the most beneficial to your well-being and your fitness goals.
Let’s face it. We can find an excuse each day to skip our work out! When we continually “ditch” our work outs, we will continually be asking ourselves why our exercise plan is not working. With years of experience both as a trainer and exercise enthusiast, I can tell you that I tend to be the “drag yourself to the gym” kind of girl, (no big surprises there!) So, how do we know when to work out and when to stay home when experiencing an injury? My suggestion is always to figure out what you CAN do. So, if you have a knee injury, it is safe to say that going for a run or doing a leg work out is probably not your best idea. The great news is that you have a slew of other body parts that can still benefit from a work out! Get to the gym and perform an upper body work out. Train the opposite leg as science tells us that training one side will benefit the other side. Strength and skill transfer from one side of the body to the other! Try something nonimpact such as cycling. If your knees says “hell no!”, use your healthy leg and both legs will benefit and you will still be burning fat!
I am currently recovering from shoulder surgery. I was surprised and excited about how quickly I was able to resume some of my activities. As that “drag myself to the gym” girl, I may have been just a tad overzealous! Guess what? My body told me….back off! And I did. Did I stay home and do nothing? Absolutely not, I just took a step back, reevaluated what I was doing, and made some changes. I am still working out and feeling great. The point is that I could have used that as an excuse to do nothing. And you know what happens when you do nothing? NOTHING.
Exercising consistently has SO many health benefits that finding reasons not to do it is quite frankly detrimental to your health, not to mention your body composition. Here are a just a few of the benefits exercising consistently:
- Control your weight
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Reduce your risk of some cancers
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mental health and mood
- Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
- Increase your chances of living longer
The bottom line is that exercise just makes you feel good! The weight loss, the fact that you look better, and are preventing multiple diseases is just the icing on the cake (that you’re not eating!) Next time you have an injury, ache, or pain simply ask yourself, what can I do? And then get yourself to the gym and do it!