Maintaining Fitness and Focus During Injury

A rocky landscape on a clear day

Approach rehabilitation with a positive mindset! An injury is a setback in one sense, although it is also an opportunity to progress. Athletes and exercise enthusiasts concentrate on specific aspects of their fitness they believe provide most benefit. Due to time constraints many neglect important aspects that will improve performance. Down time during injury rehabilitation can be utilised.

A runner or tri-athlete will benefit from developing leg strength and until stopped in their tracks through injury, although still allowing them to exercise their legs, had not allocated time to do so. A gymnast will improve through strength training, core conditioning and concentrating on lengthening and strengthening connective tissues. Weekend warriors who neglect their leg conditioning; this can be the time to focus on squats and continue after recovery.

The conditioning programme does not adversely affect the injury. The programme runs alongside the specific rehabilitation exercises and treatment (if required).

Setting alternative goals is important psychologically to prevent injury from affecting confidence, motivation and resisting the temptation of 'naughty' foods and 'excess' alcohol. The conditioning work will improve athletic ability and improve weak areas that would otherwise remain weak. Most importantly, direction will maintain focus until full fitness returns.

An injury becomes an opportunity to progress with an alternative exercise regime combined with a rehabilitation programme while the body heals. Consider those less fortunate they have overcome insurmountable odds and disadvantage; they are inspirational!

London 2012 Paralympic Games - Best of the Games