This is usually the start of a text I have received from clients. The rest that follows usually goes something like this: “I do not know what I did but my (fill in any body part here) is killing me. I think I am going to have to cancel session tomorrow since I cannot use (fill in body part) it does not make sense to waste a session or workout as I cannot put in the effort I usually do.
This type of mindset is very familiar to me. I too would ditch working out, of any kind, unless I could do what was planned and not scale anything. My mind set did not change easily. It has taken decades, injuries and aging to understand that it does not have to be All-or Nothing to reap the benefits of exercise and SOMETHING is better than nothing. I am now 52 and there is ALWAYS something that hurts. I will use all my other body parts that are functioning well enough to work out and there is this phenomenon called “contralateral effects”; also called “cross education” or “cross-training effects”. These three terms refer to findings of untrained limbs increasing in strength during unilateral training.
According to a fascinating study, working out the muscles on one side of our bodies can keep the muscles on the other side strong and fit, even if we do not move them at all. If you sprain or break something those muscles and ligaments will weaken and doing nothing at all will cause both sides to lose size and strength.
Ok so now that you understand the importance of working the uninjured limb let’s talk about that All or Nothing thinking. I have spondylolisthesis, Facet Joint syndrome, central & Foramen Spinal Stenosis. Yeah let’s just say I have chronic back pain. Pre-Back injury me always hit workouts hard all the time. I had that mentality if I could not do the workout with full intensity or as programmed than it was not worth doing. It was hard to accept just doing bicep curls sitting down (these bore me) in place of deadlifting 250lbs and attempting to snatch 100lbs. Was I fitter than I ever was after a few months of the scaled down exercise routine? NOPE. Were they fun, heart pounding, high calorie burning workouts? No again. For me it was better than not doing anything at all. It has been a hard journey but because I never gave up, I still have great muscle tone, strength and I love how I still look fit.
What if you are not injured but life is just choke full of, well, life. Kids, job, family obligations, caring for a sick loved one. You are exhausted; physical and mentally. The all-or- nothing mentally tends to slip its way in here. You feel if you cannot devote a full hour of working out there is no point of even working out. Just a little can go a long way. I promise you. It can keep your mind sharp, your tendons and ligaments, strong, your heart, lungs and circulation strong and it can make it easier to transition into a fuller program when things calm down.
Here are some workouts you can do with very little time:
10 min workouts and under
10 Minutes on the timer:
Do one rep of each exercise the first round, then two reps, then three reps, and so on, until time is up.
Tabata Stair runs
20 secs of running up and down the stairs
10 secs rest
Repeat 8 times
(This format can be used for many exercises. Try jumping jacks or high knees, sprints on the treadmill or bike)
30 Secs of each exercise
Rest 30 Secs before moving to next exercise
Contact me if you are recovering from an injury and frustration has set in trying to figure out how to put together a workout program. It is best to hire a trainer to have a pair of eyes on you to make sure you are staying safe during this time.
Stay strong, stay positive and carry on!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.