As I sit here with ice on my knee, I am reminded once more that injuries suck. This time it is a knee which has had three surgeries and is now arthritic. Every three or four years, part of my knee gets inflamed and very sore. It could be a weird step, twist, or perhaps, overdoing it. I’m not sure what did it this time. Maybe a combination of things? I’d been watching the World Cup while doing the elliptical machine every day a couple of weeks ago during group play. The timing of the games fit nicely with my schedule. But, maybe it was a bit too much. Or, maybe I stepped a little odd when out walking. Who knows?
So, what do I do? Well, I’ve been staying positive and taking care of it to try to bring the inflammation down. Then, I will be able to ease back into doing my cardio again. It’s a process. It’s painful. It’s a bother. It’s frustrating. And, as I’ve posted on my Instagram account earlier, it could be so much worse. I have a friend who’s just had a six-hour surgery a few days ago to rebuild his ankle which was initially mangled in a car accident many years ago. So, what are a few weeks of missed walks? I can live with that.
What won’t I do? Quit working out. Even if I can’t do much cardio for a bit, I will continue to do strength training. In fact, I will do a bit more of it, along with more callisthenic exercises. The benefits of exercise far outweigh the inconvenience of minor joint pain or injury. I know if I do not keep my legs strong, I have knee pain. If I keep the strength up, I have almost no knee pain in an arthritic knee. It’s simple. As the saying goes, exercise is medicine.
If you work out, you will eventually have injuries. Don’t sweat them. Just be smart about how you go about rehabbing them. Don’t neglect the rest of your body and become a slug. Once you’re out of your exercise program, it is very hard to get back to it. I have had clients who had injuries and never got back into an exercise program. As you can imagine, they are in far worse shape than they were in even before they started working out in the first place.
Fortunately for me, most of my clients come to me because I specialize in dealing with injuries and other medical conditions. So, I tend to work with people who genuinely want to feel better and know that exercise is a big part of that goal.
My point is this, everyone who works out will eventually have an injury – directly related to working out or not. Strained muscles. Tendonitis. Bursitis. You name it. Aggravating, irritating, minor injuries. When I tell people this, some ask, “Well, why work out, then?” After I mentally roll my eyes at this question, I typically go on to tell them that these injuries will not kill you. They will be an inconvenience. Some will be nagging and painful. Continue to work out what you can. You have the rest of your body. Do not quit! Because, I guarantee that if you work out, you will physically and mentally enjoy life more than if you do not work out.
But, why are injuries inevitable? Because you are moving more than you used to. Because you are probably attempting more activities than you did before. Because you’re not perfect. Because you won’t always have perfect form. Because your body isn’t indestructible. Because you’re getting older. Because, you’re not likely to injure yourself while sitting on a couch!
Note: The injuries I am speaking of in this article are nagging injuries, not serious. Not the obvious broken bone, gaping wound, getting knocked unconscious types of injuries. Go to the emergency room immediately if you have one of these. I am speaking of the minor sprained ankle, the sore shoulder, the ‘pulling’ feeling in your hamstring, the knee pain that made its presence known.
Thanks for reading. As with all the exercise information on this site, please get a check-up with your doctor before you begin an exercise program. And, please sign up to follow SimplyFitness.blog. This will help me to continue to provide fitness information to everyone. Thanks! Karen