When returning to fitness after an injury or getting into fitness with an existing level of limited mobility, the prospect can sometimes seem overwhelming. Knowing how to workout without risking injury or knowing how to set effective goals can take practice, especially if you’re new to fitness. To help guide you through this, personal training student and motocross accident survivor, Mike Newman, has written this empowering blog about how his fitness journey has not only helped him understand his body better but helped him set realistic and achievable goals which drive him towards his current successes.
Read on to find out how important Mike found getting back into fitness for both physical and mental health, and how to implement some actionable advice about planning and sticking to your recovery aspirations.
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"I am going to start with something that is very important to everyone, that is being confident and having the ability to believe in yourself.
Depending on what injury you have sustained, what you are recovering from, or if it is a disability you were born with, it will affect each of us differently. I am sure there are tasks and activities that perhaps you wish you could do more easily or more efficiently, not to mention specific goals you would love to be able to achieve.
What if I told you that, no matter where you are now, you can improve. You can make progress, and you can get closer to achieving the goals that you desire.
Fitness, and what it offers, isn’t just a physical reflection of what you look like. It’s a state of mind that changes your perception from “what if” to “how can I”. Setting goals and achieving them gives you a great sense of accomplishment. When you reach your goals, you feel euphoric! You feel motivated and you feel stronger, ready for the next challenge. That feel-good feeling will drive you to set future goals.
When you train, you learn new things about your body and mind. We are all so much stronger than we know, but we must break down barriers and find out for ourselves what we can achieve.
As you develop physically and mentally, your confidence will grow, and you will find that the challenges and barriers set before you are just goals waiting to be achieved.
When I first had my accident, I had been training for 12 years and had a good knowledge of fitness. With the new dynamic of working out how to train without aggravating my existing injury or causing pain, however, it seemed all the more challenging. I didn’t want to risk further injury, but I wanted to make progress.
It was not until I started to learn about the anatomy and physiology of the human body from the course from Future Fit, that my recovery and progress started to come on leaps and bounds. Understanding and being able to visualise the mechanics of the muscles and the bones in my body gave me something incredibly valuable, peace of mind.
Knowing how the body works, and what exercises I needed, gave me a way to develop a training programme for myself. It was safe and would not aggravate my injury. The fear and anxiety I once had faded away and was instead replaced by achievements and progress. It was one of the best things I have ever done for myself and I would recommend it to anyone regardless of your ability, what you learn is fantastic and incredibly useful!
When I was first paralysed, I had a realisation of just how difficult it was to do almost everything. I knew I had to relearn everything, down to the daily tasks, such as:
Everything had changed. While most of these tasks now needed assistance, I wanted to be more independent. I needed a plan!
I thought about what I needed to do to make positive changes to my body and make life easier, gaining more independence. Here are a few examples:
I devised a programme using what I had learnt on the courses provided by Future Fit. I worked my muscles and trained every day. From this, I had noticeable improvements in my daily living. Tasks were getting easier and quicker and becoming more of an enjoyable experience.
Because they weren’t a struggle anymore. I was getting stronger and the hard work was paying off. Over the course of a year, I regained my independence, a feeling so monumental words can’t describe how good it felt both physically and mentally!
Here is a start point to get the ball rolling on changing your mentality towards your recovery process; I just want you to think about, and then write down, 3 of your current goals. Then I would like you to write all the reasons why you want to achieve these goals.
Then, imagine how you would feel achieving these goals:
Then on a separate piece paper, write down the barriers and reasons that are currently holding you back, or stopping you from achieving these goals. Now I want you to find a solution to each of the barriers or a way you could overcome them. If you do not know, then don’t worry. It's fine to try your best to find out:
Can you see how you can get that one step closer to achieving it? The next part is down to you! Start your fitness journey now and let us start making that magic happen!
You might wonder why I have shared this with you? It is because, if fitness can make this much of a difference to my life, I wonder what could it do for yours too?
It’s never too late to start, and if you have started and found it difficult, there is always ways to get over obstacles; you just need to know-how. Investing in yourself is the best thing you could ever do.
Why wait? Let’s help you to be the best possible version of you, and help you to overcome any obstacles put in your path and turn those struggles into successes!
We are all in this together, especially with everything that has been happening with Covid-19. There has never been a better time to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible and start applying it to your fitness journey/recovery. I did, and it is the best thing I have ever done.
Let us keep moving forward and achieving together! We have got this!”