It’s 8am in Western Australia and I am about to head from Perth to the beaches, vineyards and farms down south. A couple of weeks ago I was sledging in England after a particular good snowfall and decided to try snowboarding down the hill on the rickety plastic sled. Not a good idea. One jarred kneecap later, I have only been running once since then and have been advised by a physio to take a gradual re-introduction to training, which leads me to the main point of this article: finding ways to keep motivated and fit when you suffer from injury or when you are on the move.
- Set realistic goals
If you have a planned holiday or if you find yourself re-cooperating after sustaining an injury, you won’t be able to keep up with the regular regime of training and healthy eating. (In fact, as I write, I am being told of the numerous restaurants and vineyards I will be visiting over the next few days!). So, come up with a realistic plan that you are likely to hit. For me: a fifteen minute run along the beach in the morning followed by a swim in the sea is not likely to disrupt the holiday. Swimming is low impact and good for many rehab scenarios; running barefoot on the beach puts your feet into direct contact with the earth and really lets you focus on your biomechanics. Even if you are limited to training the confines of your hotel room for exercise, establishing simple routines to work key muscle groups and doing them daily will keep you fit and in a disciplined state of mind. Adapt the workouts you need to do to the environment and limitations that you will have.
- Remember moderation
It is easy on holiday or post-injury to drastically taper training and then try to compensate afterwards, which all too often leads to re-injury as your body gets shocked back into physical activity. Keep yourself active: be wary of unnecessarily tapering off or starting back into an exercise regime too aggressively. On the point of moderation, this applies to food and drink consumption too!
- Stick with it!
So if you have set yourself realistic goals and you know not to taper off unnecessarily, keep to your plan. I know a fifteen minute run and a short swim won’t break me, but it is so easy to delay your plans for another day. I once read an article that says most people don’t lack motivation, they lack follow-through, so follow through with your plans and when you’re back from your holiday or once you’re rehabilitated from your injuries, you will be able to slide back in to your regular training regime with ease.
If you’re on holidays, happy holidays, and if you are injured, get well!