How do you feel today? We hope the answer is good, strong and energetic. These are some benefits of exercise. As is improved mood, sleep quality, heart health, focus and so much more. You could also be a bit sore from your workout or possibly tired if you just finished a session. That can happen at times. But you may also have some nagging pains and challenges (in which case we want you to go get checked out). Something often overlooked is the physical considerations we bring with us and that those considerations aren't a death sentence to our goals. An old sports injury, a nagging back or a shoulder that doesn't allow us to do much overhead exercises are actually quite common issues. And even though they are common, they do not need to be dead ends to achieving the many great benefits that fitness has to offer. Everyone Has Something Going On
Perhaps the most important thing to realize exercising around injuries, is that everyone has something going on. Now we always want you to get the approval of your health care professional before you start an exercise plan or if you have pain. That's step one. There might be something that needs some physical therapy or other help before you get going. What's exciting about this is that there are a lot of things that can get much better or fixed with proper help from a healthcare professional. After you get the ok from your doc or PT, the opportunities are almost endless. What many people do not understand is that an injury is not a death sentence, but just means that there is another way to do it
Here is a photo of Justin Timberlake, taken by his trainer, who recently tore his MCL and did two more shows before he had it worked on (not something we advise at all). What we do like about this photo is that JT is still training with help and guidance from his trainer. His injury was not a dead end but rather just a new wrinkle. The Right Support Network
Obviously who you are working with is essential. The right trainer and medical pros are crucial. You want a trainer who asks the right questions, has lots of experience with clients with limitations and has a good network of Physical Therapists, Doctors and more to help. This is one of the biggest differences between new trainers with a few years or fewer of experience and those who have made fitness a career.
It's also important for your trainer to not be afraid to refer out. At Park Fitness, we never hesitate to get a medical or pain professional involved. Diagnosing and treating pain and pain related problems does not fall within the scope of anyone but a doctor or licensed physical therapist (today, all new Physical Therapists in Maryland have a Doctorate in Physical Therapy). Learning What You CAN Do
Perhaps the most exciting thing about any one person's fitness journey is their learning about themselves. Let's examine that sentiment more closely. Fitness is a journey. It is something that we always have access to and there will be times are completely into it and times we wish we were more focused. But all throughout there is learning and self exploration. And because it is something that will always be with us, the more we learn about fitness and ourselves the better suited we are to reaping the benefits exercise has to offer. Case in point, I had a client who would experience back discomfort more times than not the day after any overhead pressing. No other movement brought this out and no adjustments or changes to posture, position or technique made a difference. Nothing was found in Physical Therapy so we just stopped overhead pressing. Now this didn't mean we stopped training or even training her upper body and shoulders. We just found better and safer ways to do it. She learned about her body and we learned how she could get the results she was looking for while still managing her limitations. Set Realistic Expectations And Unleash Your Potential
I remember a story I heard recently from Mark Schlereth, Sports TV show anchor, who also happened to have had a Hall of Fame NFL professional football career. Schlereth had won multiple Super Bowls but had also worked around injuries all throughout his career. Schlereth found himself interviewing a current player as part of his TV job one day. This current player was just coming off an injury that ended his previous sports season and the two were discussing it. Schlereth asked him how he was feeling and the current player told him that it was good but not quite where he was before. Schlereth stopped him immediately and told him that he needed to realize that there was now a new normal. That constantly comparing how he currently felt to how he used to feel would land him out of professional sports rather than finding ways to working with how things were now. The current player was at first defensive and offended and closed off to Schlereth's advice. But Schlereth explained that months later this current player reached out to him and thanked him. It was some of the best advice,he was given and gave him the perspective he needed to adjust his expectations of himself. Now none of us are probably professional athletes, but we all will experience an injury at some point. The important thing is that we learn from it, learn about ourselves and our body and learn how to work around it and move forward. Learning how to not aggravate the injury while still moving forward can be a game changer. The key can be focusing on what we CAN do, maximizing that potential and learning new ways to experience progress while not sweating what we may have trouble doing. Without getting too transcendental, it's a new way at looking at ourselves, our abilities and life! Or at the very least, a new way at looking at how we can get fit and stay fit. So let's continue this fitness journey with you. See you at Park Fitness.
Digital high fives!
Danny & Joe