Week 2 and 3: Back to work; goal setting and tips to keep you going!

So it’s 3 weeks since I got diagnosed and 5 weeks since initial injury and I am going ok!

After spending a week at home recouping with my family I came back to Merimbula and back into work and to rehab in my home environment.

The time at home was exactly what I needed and it’s been good to now get into my new routine.

I work as a physio and we got new students last week- so lots of talking educating and facilitating which can be quite tiring in itself!

I do slow steam rehab as well as musc and neuro outpatients and pulmonary rehab …my principle is you need the 5 Es to be a good physio- you must try and…

Educate

Exercise

Empathy

Enthusiasm

Empowerment

And am trying to install this with the patients we see!

This sees me working 25 to 30hrs a week and leaves time for my own rehab…

It’s important to have goals or phases of rehab ..like run training I want purpose and enjoyment in what I do!

This phase (first 6 weeks since diagnosis) my goal is to maintain baseline aerobic fitness and maintain strength in left leg while protective weight bearing in boot…

I know I can’t keep my high level aerobic run specific fitness but my theory was if I could maintain my engine through variety of x training methods, keep my strength relatively even left to right and keep my metabolism quite high to promote healing through exercise.

This will hopefully minimise non use or significant atrophy on 1 leg and it won’t be as huge a build to get back running.

I have a bit of a purpose behind each session and type of exercise..and these are my tips to make them manageable when you can’t run!

1. Have variety! Mix swim bike walk elliptical gym mtb to keep it interesting! Find out what you can do!

2. Get outside! I love the outside and fresh air! So after a month inside at the gym I knew I would have to change to keep me going especially in the nice weather…So I bought a bike elliptical xtrainer cheaper and have set it up in a sunny spot out the front of my house.

3. Embrace the new challenges! Running was easy for me- rolling through 10k would feel like I have done nothing! However i do find bike elliptical swimming and bike quite hard and I know I’m getting fitter in other ways which will make me strong when I come back.

4. Work on your weaknesses – my suunto 9 watch has so many functions including core Pilates and circuit training and I have been doing this daily! I put my timer on and aim for 20 to 40 minutes a day and mix up squats core strength and mobility exercises and am certainly feeling stronger centrally and know it will make me better!

5. Problem solve challenges that make it hard! I hate getting cold and the pool is never warm enough for me! So I do my session in a wetsuit! I swim and then water run and I get hot rather than cold making life much more tolerable.

6. Participate positively. I am not a good spectator especially when injured it makes it mentally very hard so look for a way to participate instead! Eg I was photographer at Parkrun last week which was a great way to walk and still catch up with everyone!

So the benefits of different training…

Bike; great for low level cardio and quad strength and minimal impact on my feet! I have done stationary bike and MTBing so far with the stationary bike sitting in a sheltered but sunny spot out the front while I save the mtb to weekends on bike paths and very safe trails! I try do 30 to 40minutes most days on the bike.

Elliptical- my bike is also a elliptical so it’s easy to access. Great for unloaded but runner like motion and again great low level cardio. Works hamstrings more too and good to do an exercise in standing.

Swimming- this is a good aerobic work out and good for core strength, feet strength and for mobility.

Water running- this is new for me and such a great way to replicate running in an unloaded environment. I wear a wetsuit and do laps in a 25m pool and it takes forever to to a lap (500m in 40mins) but mixing intensity and muscle emphasis eg the lift from the hip. The push from the glutes, the hamstring flick, or a more kicking like hip extension and then lightly running in deep water touching my feet to the ground.

Walking- walking is as close to running as I can get so I am embracing the slower pace and trying to take more photos!

Core/strength: regardless of your activity it’s important to keep your core strong and supply and your muscles ready for the demands of sport. 10 to 20mins a day is an easy way to get strong stable and will lead to less injuries and better performance long term.

Pilates- I am very fortunate to be able to access Pilates equipment at my work Sapphire Coast Physio and use this like the core and strength work keeps me mobile and strong and I find very enjoyable.

The extra bits

– sleep – I have been sleeping more deeply than easily than ever and although I wake early I am feeling better and more energised and recovered each morning.

– diet- I am continuing a high calcium and high protein diet- yogurt milk salomon eggs as well as lots of colour through veggies and less caffeine and sugar.. I am not worrying about weight or calories rather about nourishing my body while it heals.

So from here I have 1 week until I see Dr Nott so I will get an idea from there how I’m going..

I am very nervous as I just don’t know how it’s going! Most of the time I feel nothing but sometimes I am aware of it..

Let the next week go fast and the news be good!

Although regardless of the outcome I will still focus on what I can do through the next phase!

Stay positive!

Steph

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