My friend M is in great shape. She eats right, has healthy habits and exercises regularly. Sounds great, right?
In theory, it is. She is doing what she can to take care of her body, something we all should be doing.
As exercise can be trying on our bodies as we get older, she occasionally gets hurt. All athletes, armchair or otherwise, risk injury occasionally. We move just a little bit funny, and WHAM. Injury. I stepped funny off a curb and I twisted my knee ever so slightly, my husband was playing kickball with his friends and pulled something running to first base. Injuries happen. But if you get a physical injury, what’s the best thing to do?
As I’m not a Doctor, I won’t tell you how to heal your injury. But I can tell you what to be wary of: not giving your body enough down time so that the injury begins to heal. I know this is decent advice because my friend M never gives her injuries the proper rest and she ends up hurting herself more.
M and I see each other once a month for either theater or museum or movie dates. When I saw her a few weeks ago, she was limping. This has become her new look: getting injured in Pilates, taking one day off, then injuring herself again. What was once my most in shape, healthy friend has become my friend most likely to hobble or need physical therapy. As with all things, too much of anything can be a bad thing.
None of us like to admit that we are getting older, that our bodies don’t quite do the things we want or need them to do. But it’s OK to stop occasionally, or even just slow down. It’s OK to listen to our bodies when they are tired or sore- my friend getting injured every week is a message to her that she needs to take it easy once in awhile. We need to balance out the healthy food and the exercise with the other things it takes to make us physically and mentally strong. Listen to the clues your mind and body are sending to you- they’re as important as any health regimen. If you don’t treat your specific mind and body right, it’s not going to matter how many chia seeds you eat.