Injuries happen to us all. It doesn’t matter whether they are really serious or very minor, injuries can have a massive effect on our exercise regimes, and our mindset towards our training. It can be extremely disheartening when you are training really well and you’re getting closer to your goals, and then injury strikes. In my years of training, I have been unfortunate enough to experience countless injuries. From blisters on my feet, pulled muscles and ligaments, right the way up to rupturing my Achilles Tendon, I’ve been through it all. It’s tough. But what should you do when injury strikes? The first course of action is to stop exercising immediately and determine what exactly your injury is. Use common sense here. Don’t go to your local A&E department with a blister! Consult a doctor or physiotherapist before you do anything if you aren’t sure. Once you have determined what your injury is, you can plan on your next move. The next thing to do is seek advice on alternative training methods. For example, if you’ve hurt your foot, running is out of the question. Try swimming or cycling on an exercise bike as an alternative cardiovascular exercise. It’s important if you pick up an injury, if possible, to keep doing some form of training. Of course, this depends on the severity of what you’re done. Nobody can carry on training in a full body cast! Carrying on with some form of alternative exercise is beneficial in many ways. One reason is that it will still keep the rest of your body (minus the injured area) in good physical condition, which will stand you in good stead when you resume your regular training. Physiotherapy will also help massively in getting the injured area back to full health. Getting a good rehabilitation program is ideal here. Another reason for making sure you continue to do some form of physical activity, and I think the most important, is that doing alternative exercise that is allowing you to recover and also remain physically fit, helps keep you in a positive frame of mind. I can’t explain the amount of times I’ve been injured in the most frustrating circumstances, and wanted to throw in the towel and call it a day on whatever I was training for at the time. Without a plan and a persitance to overcome these setbacks, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Doing an alternative training program whilst I recovered, kept me physically still heading towards my goals and more importantly, kept my mindset positive. If you experience an injury, keep your head up and work out how to over come these setbacks. You’ll definitely be stronger for it! Be all you can be. Sean

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