How I Stayed Motivated When I Couldn’t Work Out

Hello, hello! Just popping in to share some of my eats from today and my new post on Health.com!

Breakfast

I had an egg-cellent breakfast this morning: Egg, bacon, cheese, and kale in a pita pocket with a glass of homemade Marylou’s Hawaiian Chocolate Nut with vanilla almond milk ice cubes. It was so good. You will definitely see a repeat of this breakfast in the future!

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After breakfast, I hung out with Q and waited for Mal to get home from CrossFit, so I could then go to my 6-week postpartum check-up with my doctor. Everything went well at my appointment and looked good and healed, so my doc told me: “You can do anything you want.” Of course, I asked a few questions for clarification and her response was always the same. Yay!!

I also asked my doctor about my “Bambi legs” and whether the feeling was related to hormones, loss of muscle/strength, or the epidural, and she actually said it was probably related to the nearly 4 hours of pushing I did during labor. She explained that having my legs pulled back and flexed for such a long period of time likely caused some swelling to the nerves in my legs. She said it will likely resolve itself in a few weeks.

Lunch

Lunch was a bunch of leftovers from Saturday’s get-together: Sunshine salad, a sweet potato quinoa cake, spicy cabbage pad thai, cucumber-tomato-Havarti salad, and part of a cheeseburger””all of which was from Whole Foods.

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Health News & Views

At one point or another, many of us will be sidelined by something that prevents us from working out. Whether it’s an injury, an illness, or a pregnancy restriction, it can be tough to stick to your usual healthy habits (like eating well and drinking plenty of water) when your exercise routine isn’t what it used to be. Not being active can really throw you for a loop, so here are five ways to help keep you motivated.

How to Stay Motivated When You Can’t Work Out

Question of the Day

How do you stay motivated when you can’t work out?

32 Comments

  1. When I can’t workout I try and stay motivated by eating healthy and doing what I can to stay active. When I was pregnant I had such bad morning sickness in the beginning that just getting out of bed was a struggle, so I focused on eating healthy and it really helped me to feel better 🙂

  2. I love to use social media as a push; blogs, Instagram or pins of workouts or motivation on Pinterest can be enough to get me out the door. But overall I really try and focus on making good decisions, moving and doing the best I can so I can live my life to the fullest. I want to run around with my grand kids one day, and being healthy today is a good way to start!

  3. I agree with Erica, ANY kind of movement feels better than nothing at all, so if I can take a long walk after dinner or do something to move my body, I usually feel a little better. And I can also take times when I’m not working out to focus on honing other areas of my health, like diet or mental wellness. 🙂

  4. As someone who loves endorphins from good workouts, it’s really tough. I struggled a lot when I couldn’t run after injuring my knee years back. However, I just try to focus on eating healthy and smaller, less harsh movements, like walking. Visualization also helps – imagining how good you’ll feel once you’re able to start working out again.

    On another note…must make Vanilla Almond Milk Ice Cubes (brilliant).

  5. When I was pregnant all 3 times I was on “restricted activity” and bedrest the first time, and those were definitely challenging times. Not only could I not work out but I was not supposed to be walking around much or even doing regular household chores because I was at risk of early delivery due to incompetent cervix. I took that time to completely focus on other interests, like music, as well as getting in tune with my body and the pregnancy itself, and a big focus on “mom” stuff and connecting socially with other moms. I also reframed my thoughts so I felt productive resting and doing what was best for the pregnancy.

  6. Oh, great tips!! Along with your ideas, I think it’s important to stay positive and motivated even if you’re feeling down. I’m 38 weeks pregnant and can’t run right now but I try to focus on all the other things that I can do…. walk, lift weights, yoga, spin, etc. 🙂

  7. Like you said in your article, I stay motivated by figuring out what I can do. I remember back in May I had the most terrible stomach bug two days after exam period ended. I couldn’t get out of bed let alone go to work or exercise. It was really frustrating (even though it was only a week). I focused on doing what I could to make my body feel better and bounce back, and I did fewer workouts the following week so I wouldn’t overdo it. I think listening to your body is key!

  8. I am very careful about what foods I eat when I can’t workout. I recently tore my hamstring which has been a huge bummer. 🙁 I can’t just do nothing, i find it feels worse when I don’t move around. I bought a gym membership and have been swimming laps now. It feels great. This injury has definitely opened my eyes and I won’t be killing myself pounding the miles when I feel better. It has taught me to eat clean and the wonders of cross-training!

  9. your iced coffees always look so good! question: when you use frozen almond milk, do the cubes completely melt or do you finish the coffee and have frozen milk cubes left over? Haha I always wonder about this! I’ve made coffee creamer cubes but I have to microwave them or else they’ll never melt into the coffee!

  10. This was timely! I went from severely spraining my ankle (I tore the main ligament) to being pregnant. I was due to run the Miami half marathon early February this year, and injured my ankle 10 days prior. I then found out the end of February I was pregnant! My ankle is actually still healing and I do not foresee doing any major exercise until after I give birth at this point. I only have 3 months to go until my due date. It has been a huge mental shift to go from long distance running and weight lifting to walking and yoga. But, I just keep eating healthy and reminding myself that this is what is meant to be right now. Honestly, I believe everything happens for a reason. Getting pregnant was not easy for us, so the injury must have happened for a reason. By the way, your little one is precious!

  11. I was sidelined with a foot injury in December, but I was able to do some things. I focused on the things I COULD DO, like core work, stretching and other moves that didn’t put weight on my bottom half. I made sure to challenge myself in new ways and not fret about the fact that I was not doing any cardio or sweating and I was totally off my routine. Drinking a lot of water, sleeping a lot and moving in ways that I could safely do helped me stay motivated.

  12. I stay motivated by viewing “working out” in a more holistic manner. For example, my workout of the day might be meditation or taking a walk. Sometimes just helping the mind helps the body.

  13. Can’t believe you’ve been a mom for 6 weeks already! I really enjoyed this article when I read it the other day; I try to stay active in other ways when I’m not able to, for whatever reason, work out.

  14. Just had my 4th c-section in April and while physically I feel great, finding the time to workout with 4 kids has been my biggest hurdle! Since I’m not 100% back to working out, I’m really trying to work hard on keeping my nutrition on point.

  15. That breakfast looks delicious! I’ve never heard anyone talk about “Bambi legs” after pregnancy before, I am glad that it is not a serious problem!

  16. It happens to everyone at some point! Pregnancy is tough because you’re totally cut off from exercising for a while to let your body heal. I haven’t been through that, but when I am injured I try to focus on the healthy body parts as much as possible. For example, if I have a running injury in the legs I focus on upper body and core every day to retain my sanity. In the instance of no exercise, I try to do calming activities that will leave me feeling good like a nice run does. A long walk, some meditation, or even cooking a detailed meal can usually occupy my mind enough to stay in a happy place. Good luck on the healing!

  17. I stay motivated by doing some simple strength moves or quick cardio like jumping jacks before bed. It makes me feel better and reminds me how good a work out feels. Plus it also makes the gap between workouts feel shorter because I am always trying to fit fitness in.

  18. I love how your lunch is a little bit of this and a little bit of that–that’s exactly how I like to eat my meals. When I can’t run, then I find some sort of other physical activity to do: swimming, weight lifting, yoga, etc. It is never the same, but at least it helps a little. I am really good at staying busy, but not being able to workout is no fun!

  19. Love your breakfast pita pocket idea! And when I’m love on inspiration for a workout I just always try to remember how much better I always feel after I do it. It gets me started and starting is the hardest part!

  20. I’m not gonna lie i am like a bear with a sore head when i can’t train. I try to remember why i can’t train and that it will be worth it. I try to keep my food health as it is one thing i can control and not focus in what i can’t control. You have done amazing to get back to it so soon. You should be very proud of yourself.

  21. I don’t think I have ever had a time when I couldn’t work out at all, but I was recently injured from running and couldn’t run for over 2 months. I stayed motivated during that time by focusing on other exercises I could do. I even discovered Body Pump and fell in love with that workout!

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