If you’re committed to a regular workouts to keep both your mood and energy up, you may be in for a rude awakening when an injury slows you down.
Aside from the frustration of not being able to do your workout, you may sink into a state of lethargy from not frequently moving your body.
To keep that lethargy from becoming your new normal, it’s wise to engage in other activities that feed your mind, body and spirit the same way that your exercise routine does, but without aggravating your injury.
Here are five ways to keep your energy up when an injury has got you down.
1. Play Music
Put on a song, but not just any song. Choose something that speaks to you directly so it will impact your mood. Studies have shown that listening to music releases a mood-enhancing chemical in the brain, so you may experience something similar to a runner’s high when you pop on your favorite Stevie Wonder tune. Add a little movement while you listen, and you just may find yourself dancing — another excellent way to keep your energy up.
2. Eat Clean
If you’re unable to work out regularly, sticking to a healthy eating plan will help you feel better. Eating junk will not only make you susceptible to weight gain, it will also trigger mood swings and energy crashes. While you don’t have to restrict yourself to the point of dissatisfaction every time you eat, you do want to make healthy choices most of the time so that your meals provide nourishment and energy.
Although it doesn’t look like much from the outside, sitting still in meditation allows your mind and body to relax, which restores your well-being. By focusing on your breath and allowing your thoughts to calm, your nervous system resets in a way that is similar to taking a nap. And don’t worry if your thoughts never calm; the act of simply sitting will still boost your energy.
4. Take a Walk
While sneaking in a walk by parking far from your destination or taking the stairs instead of the elevator is always a good idea, you’ll experience even more benefits when you make walking a part of your routine. You may notice that by strolling outside you inspire more creativity in your life as it provides the space you need to clear your head. And now with temperatures dropping, the brisk air will serve as a major wake-up.
Depending on where you’re injured, you may still be able to participate in a modified workout by focusing on the areas that aren’t hurt. This means if you’re suffering from a twisted ankle, try an activity that you can do seated or lying down (like Pilates) so there’s no pressure on your ankle. You could also do upper-body weight training (like this workout). The point is to keep your blood flowing and to move your body regularly because this ultimately will keep your energy up.
How do you keep your energy up when you can’t do your regular workout? —Elysha