I know, I know… I have been MIA for a couple of weeks now. I bet you have been wondering what I have been doing. Well, I have been laying around playing Candy Crush, taking hot baths, not doing weights or cardio, going to the pool, and I got a massage. Before you start wondering if I have fallen off the deep end let me explain…
Remember my back problems that haunt me every so often? The pain has come back and hit a peak last Monday. I was in the gym to do my regular weight workout but with lower weight and then planned on swimming. I did my first set (was doing back and chest that day, I do 3 exercises consecutively rest for 30 seconds then repeat for a total of 4 sets) and the pain in my back started increasing. I did the second set and then pain was so bad I had to stop right then. It took all I had to put my equipment away. I immediately started trying to stretch and left to go home shortly there after.
When I say I was laying around, what I really mean is I was laying on the floor on an ice pack or heating pad (I played Candy Crush during this, lol!). Sitting is the worst for low back pain so instead of sitting I lay flat. I have also been taking baths using Epsom salts a couple of times a week. My youngest son decided that his back hurt too and he needed to lay on the ice also…
I have been going to the gym but more to stay in the habit and to get myself and my kids out of the house each morning. I have not been doing weights or my regular cardio. On a normal week I go to the gym 5 days doing 4 days of weights and cardio plus 1 functional workout (fast paced plyometrics). Recently I have been just riding the upright bike, walking a few laps around the track and stretching. I can’t remember the last time I left the gym a sweaty mess. However, this is what my body needs right now. I have changed my workouts to help my back. For now that means doing my workouts using machines (instead of free weights) and only doing 2 days (1 upper body, 1 lower body) and only doing what doesn’t hurt. I’m also taking a regular yoga class and at least 1 if not 2 deep stretch yoga classes a week.
I have been going to the pool but not always to get some Vitamin D 🙂 Since most cardio puts weight and pressure on your hips (which puts pressure on the back) my options are very limited. I have started swimming and doing pool workouts. If you have an injury and have access to the pool this is an excellent option. There is no pressure on your joints meaning you can get through your workout pain free! Plus for some reason I always feel like I am burning more calories when I swim.
And the massage… there was not pleasurable or enjoyable about it at all! I went to a massage therapist that I went to in the fall when I was having problems that specializes in sports therapy. He gets into the muscles and works to release the tension. There was a lot of “ouch” and hardly any “ahh”! In my therapist’s defense I did feel much better when it was all over!
So if you have an injury don’t let it take you out. Adjust your workouts to do what you can and stay in your routine. Try to continue your normal gym trips as best you can doing the exercises that you can so you don’t fall out of habit. When you start filling your gym time with other things that becomes your normal routine and you could have a hard time getting back in gear once you are better.