Whether or not you are committed to fitness, injuries are going to happen. I often find that those who are unfit tend to get injured more often, especially as they get into their late 30’s and above. I also find that the unfit get injured more severely and take a longer time to recover. Both of these observations are yet more reasons to stay healthy. But just because you are fit doesn’t mean you won’t get injured. Injuries happen, now ask yourself how should you deal with them?

You can’t work through an injury. You can’t work through it, but you definitely can work around it. In fact, and this may sound weird, injuries can come as a blessing in disguise sometimes. You are forced to concentrate on other areas of your body that may have been lacking attention and so were underdeveloped.

Injuries are primarily going to happen if you are:

– Over-worked
– Unbalanced muscularly (one opposing muscle group is much stronger than the other)
– Not properly warmed up

Now the last one is completely within your control. Warm up before every workout, it’s just that simple.

Being over-worked can be a tricky one. You are excited and motivated to workout and eat right over a sustained period of time. You are seeing great results, which, is driving you to work harder and harder. Then it happens, you get injured. It could be your enthusiasm got the best of you and you were overtraining a particular muscle group. Motivation and enthusiasm are key to your fitness success. But you may have to rein them in once in a while. Remember your recovery is what allows you to lose weight and build muscle so part of your fitness workout plan should include ample time for recovery, which will help you avoid getting over-worked.

As mentioned above, injuries can often happen because one opposing muscle group is stronger than the other. For example, maybe you quads are stronger than your hamstrings or your front deltoids and stronger than your rear deltoids. Strangely enough it is the stronger muscle that often gets the injury. So when you work around your injury, see what exercises you may or may not be able to do for the actual muscle involved as well as the rest of your body. For example, I have had should injuries in my front deltoids, but I have still been able to do rear deltoid exercises without aggravating my injury.

Of course sometimes you will not be able to work the injured area at all. For example, lower back injuries can be fairly debilitating for some time. You can’t even do a bench press because you flex your core with nearly every exercise you do. What is the answer in this case? First, give yourself a few days rest. Then begin a regimen of walking a few times a week. Anything more than a few days and your muscles actually begin to atrophy, and the added rest is likely not aiding your recovery. Approach the injury as a rehabilitation exercise. Of course, consult a physician and develop a new fitness workout plan to get you back to 100% of your health and strength. Slowly add exercises back into your routine and go very light, slowly adding weight over time. Take your time and rein in your enthusiasm to do too much too soon.