It’s amazing how a small injury, surgery or an illness can wreck your whole workout routine. One day you are moving along perfectly and a couple of weeks later it feels like you are starting from scratch. If this has ever happened to you, I am sure you know how devastating this feels. Whether your doctor has told you to take it easy so you can get better, you have to heal after surgery and that translates into several weeks of limited mobility, you have to think of creative ways to get moving.
Why You Need And Want To Track Your Activity
When you get on the scale and you want to cry or when walking up a flight of steps leaves you winded, you need to know what you have been doing so you can really assess the problem. If you have been eating potato chips at every meal and your biggest physical exertion is walking to the fridge those extra pounds make sense. Having a real tool to measure gives you real information to work with. When your activity level drops, you can add extra pounds and you can also lose muscle. The scale may still have the same number, but that doesn’t mean your body isn’t changing. A few short weeks on the couch can wreak havoc on your body and it can change how much activity your body can tolerate.
Set Your Intention And Do Whatever You Can
Just because you can’t run 5 miles, doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch, there are tons of ways to stay active. If you can’t go to the gym, maybe you can make your goal walking 10,000 steps a day. No matter what you decide to do, it’s great to have a goal and some way to measure your success. When I’ve had to stop working out or times when I couldn’t do as much, I always made sure I could measure my activity no matter how small it was.
Know Your Body
No matter what my current activity level is I try to pay attention. For years, I have used Polar heart rate monitors to keep myself accountable and informed. If my weight changes or if I’m not tolerating an activity well, I can tell my doctors with certainty, this is what I have been doing. Having this kind of information available is PRICELESS, especially when you have a history of information that you can go back to.
How I Keep Track
My new tool is the Polar M200, it caught my eye when it was released. Even though, I wasn’t doing much moving around, I was captivated by the huge face and the round oversized display.
The face was hard to ignore and super adorable, it was the perfect mix of cute and sporty. I love a watch that is versatile enough to wear at work and at play. In addition to the big face, it has an assortment of colorful bands: teal, yellow, white, red and black. (I am secretly hoping they add pink.) The band is light and comfortable just enough air in to let your skin breathe. I give it an A+ for style. and comfort.
Seeing Is Believing
When you are trying to stay active you realize that every step counts. You also realize that it is easy to ignore what you don’t see. Accountability is key, first to yourself and then to others. The activity dots tell me how active I’ve been with one quick glance and those dots really do tell the story. When it’s 3pm and the dots have only reach the 30 mark, I know I have a lot of work to do. When the truth is staring you in your face it’s hard to ignore the facts, if the activity dots aren’t moving neither am I. I can see that and so can others, Polar even has an app where your friends can follow you. That makes setting up outside accountability very easy. With all the hoopla around “sitting disease” you also need to consider how long you are sitting. It’s not a bad idea to set an alarm so you remember to get up every once in a while. The Polar M200 has a “Let’s Get Moving” notification that comes on if I have been sitting too long, but you can set a timer to remind you to get up and walk around.
Get Rid Of The Guilt And Just Do Something
There is nothing worse than comparison and guilt, even if you comparing what you could do last year, to what you can do now. STOP Beating up on yourself. Focus on what you can control and what you can do RIGHT NOW. If you can’t run, maybe you can do Yoga, weight lifting, ride your bike or walk. Doing 30 minutes a day of some kind of physical exercise is what is recommended, so do whatever you can and be open to trying new things.
You may discover a new favorite, something you wouldn’t of tried if you didn’t get hurt. I know tons of people who have fallen in love with Zumba, line dancing, or kickboxing because they tried them on a whim only to find out that they really enjoyed them.
Find Something That Works For You
Just because you broke your leg, doesn’t mean that you can’t go to the gym and work on your arms. If your knees both you, try aqua exercises. Setbacks are one thing, quitting until you are well is something totally different. Get creative! Don’t count anything out until you have given it a try or at least seriously considered it. CD and DVD workouts can be fun and effective so can band workouts, just be open.
Set A Goal And Get Started
When you are recovering you just need to find a starting point and get started. Don’t over complicate things. Work on doing a little better today than you did yesterday and make a goal. Whether it is something long-term like running a 1/2 marathon next year or doing 10,000 steps a day. Polar has a great program on their website that will create a running plan for you, best part is it is totally free. The program automatically loads to my Polar M200 watch and tells me what I need to do that day, super cool feature. You fill out the date of the event and they put together a plan for you to follow complete with videos, when I stumbled upon it I was shocked at how good it was. If your goal isn’t as lofty don’t worry, just start.