Updated: Feb 21, 2019
I spend a lot of my time advising people about the importance of exercising effectively and correctly, and how important it is to allow sufficient recovery time when working out.
Both aspects of working out are important (vitally important, I would say - and as I do, often!) and should not be pushed aside in a dash for the perfect build or weight. They may not be the most glamorous or exciting parts of an effective exercise programme and they may not grab the headlines on the websites or blogs, but they matter.
But then, when playing tennis with my partner over a weekend recently, something happened to me that does not happen often (partly because I do follow the above guidelines when I work out!): I sustained a sports injury.
The injury in question was not major and involved a stress injury to my left knee (caused by a certain over-exertion on the tennis court). It was sufficiently uncomfortable, however, to put me in the capable hands of Claudiu Hoban at Fit 2 Function for a professional assessment of the injury and some care.
And what was a key part of Claudiu’s advice?
That I had to rest for a period of time and not work out until I had fully recovered, and that I should then proceed at a sensible pace in my exercise.
This was partly because the injury affected my knee and partly because of how long my body needed to repair itself completely.
Cue frustration and a renewed awareness of how important physical exercise and sporting activity is to me and to my life.
I am now returning to (sensible!) exercise and to my gym routine and the discomfort to my knee has indeed declined as Claudiu advised that it would, though the experience has reinforced for me the gym maxim, which is that exercising correctly, technically and with precision, and allowing appropriate recovery time matters.
Pushing on though with energy and determination in the face of the physical evidence can be a recipe for disaster and can also make matters worse if an injury (or indeed, a potential injury) is involved. Stepping back, following the advice that is given and protecting the incredibly valuable physical and mental assets that we have is crucial.
Particularly where the sustainable long-term is concerned.
No matter how frustrating it may be to approach your workout in a measured, intelligent and respectful way, it is also the only way to go because the alternative is worse (and only more painful).
So take it from an expert like Claudi and respect your body and allow time for a full recovery when exercising or dealing with an injury, if you want to progress in your workout.
No matter how frustrating that process may actually feel.