Should you or shouldn’t you? Really, in the end, it’s up to you to decide what is best for YOUR body. And of course, every injury is different and will require different amounts of rest and attention but here is my general opinion on the matter…
This may not be a popular opinion, but I actually don’t believe that injuries are a terrible thing or should hinder us from continuing to move as much as possible. The reality of it is they are a part of life. We all get injured at some point or another and shouldn’t let fear of the “but, what if…” stop us from challenging ourselves and limiting our growth. This becomes especially true as we get older and tend to be more cautious with our bodies. We begin holding ourselves back in fear an injury or unknown outcome. But know this, our bodies are brilliant! They instinctively know how to protect themselves and are master healers if and when an injury does occur.
Instead, think of injuries as an opportunity to learn how to be more mindful. When working out with an injury the level of awareness required is automatically heightened. Helping you to better understand your body, it’s habits, compensations, and weaknesses. Notice when it is asking for the time and space to heal, staying away from anything that will cause pain or strain as you discover what things you can and cannot do. But also acknowledging when it is ready for the next challenge and not being afraid to trust yourself when the time comes.
That being said, if while you are working out something just “doesn’t feel right” meaning pain or discomfort beyond the healthy limits of pushing your own personal growth, then listen to that. Don’t force it.
By moving mindfully, you will also reduce your risk of future injuries by learning how to tune into the subtleties of sensation. Expanding your understanding of what your limitations are and distinguishing good pain from bad, because yes, there is both. All it takes is starting your movements slowly in a controlled range of motion then continuing to move with more and more confidence. But like with anything else it takes time, progress comes from practice and we all have to start somewhere.
Of course, I’m not in any way advocating carelessness in your workouts and completely disregarding caution or pushing yourself towards pain. I’m only saying that if you do happen to do something to cause some strain or stress, then don’t see it as a reason to stop moving or feel you did something wrong. See it as an opportunity to learn. Some of my greatest learning moments have come through the rehabilitative process.
I know it can be intimidating working out on your own, always stressing about bad alignment not sure if what you are doing is correct, or safe. We are constantly bombarded with different concepts of what’s right, what’s wrong, what we should be doing, and what should be avoided at all costs. As you grow your understanding of your own body you will intuitively begin to know what your body wants, needs (they aren’t always the same), and what puts it in a position that compromises its safety. Because in the end, I believe that moving our bodies period is better than avoiding movement in fear of doing it ‘wrong’.
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