Working out is great for you – but there’s always a risk of injury, even when you’re doing everything you can to prevent it. It’s no fun being sidelined, whether for a few days or as long as a few months. Here’s how to stay fit – physically and mentally – while you can’t go on training normally.

1.Get back to working out as soon as it’s safe

There’s always a way to work around your injuries. After surgery, I waited a week or so and then I was back in the gym doing stuff—anything that didn’t put weight on my foot or anything crazy that would make me sweaty. I’ve been in a cast, but after it’s off, I’ll hit it harder.

2.Modify your workout routine

Just because one part of your body is broken, sprained or otherwise doesn’t mean you can’t work out other parts of your body while that one heals. Granted, you’re probably still going to need some time off here and there – and in some cases, you won’t be able to get back to the gym as quickly as you might like to. If and when you can, though, try to still work for different muscle groups, even if it means doing different kinds of physical activity than you might be used to. Something is better than nothing. If you can still stretch it, flex it or put weight on it – safely – it’s fair game. Just be careful – and if you don’t feel up to it.


3.Spend time at the gym, just watching

Being in the gym honestly helped me—just watching and observing. It’s cool and inspiring to see people work so hard. They’re not competing for anything. They’re doing it because they want to be there. That helps keep me positive.


Don’t just stay fit physically while you’re out of commission; stay fit mentally, too. It’s understandable that you might be upset about not getting to continue training as you have been. If you need some time to grieve, that’s totally normal. But don’t let it keep you down. Everything is going to work out fine in the end, no matter how unlikely it might seem now. And remember to take things slow. It’s OK to take a time to heal. Don’t push yourself too hard. Stuff happens – use the time you have the best you can, and rest if you need to. Even if you don’t want to.

You’ll get back to training in no time. The good news is, if you’re totally bummed about having to slow down or sit things out completely, that means you have the motivation to continue. Keep that motivation alive even if you can’t get back to the way things were right now. Save it for when it’s time to work your full body again – you’ll need it.