by Coach Rachel

So you can’t hit the gym for a little while. Whether it’s because of an injury, illness, or just life getting in the way, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take some steps to keep working on your fitness and wellness. This is a great time to evaluate what your goals are and what you’d like to accomplish. Take a minute to put yourself in a positive mindset and find the silver lining in the situation. Here are my top 6 tip to keep you on track, so you can be down, but not out entirely.

#1 Work on your nutrition

Whether your nutrition is dialed in or a little off track, time away from the gym can be a great opportunity to focus in on ensuring you’re doing your best to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to recover properly. Take this time to evaluate your food and hydration choices and ask yourself if there is something you could improve on. (Hint: we’re starting a Nutrition challenge this coming Monday – info session is tomorrow!)

#2 Almost everyone can use some mobility work

Struggling with squat depth or front rack position? Take this time as an opportunity to get extra mobility work in. Foam roll, ROMWod, Yoga, or just some extra stretching at your desk can all be great ways to improve mobility. If you can’t hit the gym, take 10 minutes away from the time you would normally go and get some stretching or foam rolling in. This can be a great way to relieve stress to and refocus your day!

#3 Catch up on sleep

Did you know that sleep can be just as important as getting a workout in? Make sure that you’re giving your body all the tools it needs to recover properly. Sleep is an important tool that we often miss out on. Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night if you can. (Check out our Podcast with Dr. Jackie Halpern on Sleep Hygiene)

#4 Stress management

Life can be stressful. Work, kids, family, even exercise can all cause us stress. It’s important to manage stress so we don’t become overwhelmed. Take this time to find ways to cope with and manage stress so you can continue to function as your best self. Some ideas to manage stress are meditation, yoga, coloring (I know sounds silly but try it!), journaling, foam rolling, massages, a quiet walk, or anything that helps you to relax. Take 5-10 minutes a day and try one of these techniques to manage your stress.

#5 Pick up a hobby

Without the gym, where do you spend your time? Work, family, kids, and other activities tend to eat up time in the day. And while these can all be enjoyable things and good ways to spend your time, it’s nice to have some time to yourself if you want it. Maybe going to the gym was your “me time” and now you’re missing your happy hour. Take this time to pick up a new hobby. Maybe its reading, learning a new skill, playing an instrument, painting, drawing, or something you’ve always wanted to get into. Use this as productive time to keep your mind going and find new ways to enjoy yourself.

#6 Spend time socializing within your community or with friends

Remember: just because you aren’t able to workout doesn’t mean that the community stops. The community in a CrossFit box (especially this one) becomes your second family and your home away from home. So you can’t workout, that’s okay. Keep spending time at the gym socializing and hanging out with your community. Community is long lasting, not just fair weather friends. Let the community lift you up and support you through whatever it is you’re going through. Part of why we all joke that CrossFit is the cheapest therapy isn’t just because of the workouts, but the social parts as well. You don’t have to go everyday or even as often as you were prior to your needing to step away from working out, even just once a week can be a huge boost to your spirits.  

I know that having to take a step back from the gym can be discouraging and feel like you’re taking steps back, but it doesn’t have to be that way! A change of perspective can make a world of difference for you. Maybe these tips don’t resonate with you, and that’s okay. Find something to keep you focused on the long game and remember that the community is here to lift you up always! Just because you’re down, it doesn’t mean you’re out all together.

What are your tips for keeping positive when you have to take some time away from the gym?

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