Cassandra Matcham

Keeping fitness after injury

Carnival and summer are just around the corner and, like so many people on the island, Iíve been on a serious fitness kick.

I pack my lunches. I work out almost everyday.

I was starting to see results and was so proud of what my body was capable of doing when, out of nowhere, I was blindsided. I tweaked my back and then, right after I started to feel like my normal self, I came off my bike and was left with some bruises and a fresh Bermuda tattoo (road rash).

It is so easy to lose motivation when you are unable to work out. Itís even easier to skip the healthy meals and comfort-eat instead.

I have so many clients who come in after injury, still motivated to work out but unsure as to what to do. So, when is it OK to hit the gym after an injury?

1. GET REAL WITH YOURSELF

Where exactly is your pain? How limited does this pain/injury make you? Have you given yourself time to relax after your injury? Donít get caught up in your short-term goals. Your long-term goal of not doing any more damage to your injury is priority, especially when it comes to knees and shoulders (which tend to take longer to heal).

Just because you are recovering doesnít mean you are staying still. Take a step back and listen to what your body needs. If this means doing low-impact workouts for a bit, or scheduling in physiotherapy or a massage, do it! Your future self will thank you.

2. DONíT CREATE IMBALANCES

If you injure a shoulder or a knee, you are potentially throwing your whole body out of alignment. This can lead to more injuries. I know it may feel like for ever, but donít rush your recovery.

3. THIS ONE IS A NO-BRAINER BUT WE SEE IT ALL THE TIME: IF IT HURTS, STOP!

Some of us have high thresholds for pain and tend to push through even though we should stop. If something doesnít feel right, just stop. You arenít doing yourself any favours and you will be out with your injury far longer than necessary.

4. KEEP UP WITH YOUR DIET

Diet is 80 per cent of the process. When you are unable to work out, donít let your meals throw you completely off track.

Keeping up with a healthy diet/lifestyle will make it ten times easier when you are ready to hit the gym again. Injury doesnít mean the end of your fitness journey, it is just a reminder of why we do this; why we are working towards this lifestyle.

In a world that wants everything right now, take time to listen to what your body needs. We are on this journey past the summer, past the bikini or carnival. You want to reap the benefits of training 50 years from now rather than regret it.

ēCassandra Matcham is a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga instructor, studio and group fitness manager at Alchemy Fitness. She specialises in accountability and goal-setting to help clients reach their full potential. Follow Alchemy Fitness on Facebook: AlchemyFitnessBermuda or e-mail info@alchemy.bm.