Being disabled, even for a short period of time, can take a toll on your body. Sounds like an oxymoron but it isn’t. If, i.e., you break a leg and your mobility is extremely limited it will leave a mark. Not just that you’ve broken a bone and your body needs to heal that, NOOOOO, there’s much more. Just think about getting up off the couch to get a cup of coffee with a broken leg. Seriously, think about it.

Get Back in to the Groove after an Accident

First it’s going to take extra effort to get into a standing position to start with, then you are going to have to place the crutches, just right to hop and skip to the kitchen (at least that’s what it looks like when you have one foot on the ground and the other in the air while you’re swinging yourself forward with the crutches). Then, after breaking out in a slight sweat, you make it to the kitchen. Hurray!

But this is where the fun begins. So you stabilize yourself in front of the counter, lean your crutches against it and open the cupboard to get out your cup. Good job, mission accomplished. If you’re lucky your coffee maker is right there, if not you are going to take the cup, grab your crutches, position them, while still holding the cup in one hand, and make your way over to the coffee maker. Whew, another task mastered. So you put down the cup, lean yourself and the crutches against the counter, and pour yourself a lovely cup of steaming hot coffee. Mmmmh that smells good. Have you guessed what’s going to happen next?

Yep, exactly! How are you going to get that cup, filled with HOT coffee, back to the living room without messing up the floor and scorching yourself? The simple answer: You’re not and even if you get there after all this, you’ll have half a cup left, max.  So now you have a broken leg, a scorched hand, sore shoulders and a back ache because your posture is off. This is where a walker can come in mighty handy. You know the little table they have, genius!

And what are you going to do in the shower? Are you going to stand up and let your broken leg hang out the door? Or are you going to do the smart thing, so you don’t slip and break the other leg? What is the smart thing? A shower chair comes in mighty handy in this case. You can sit down, position your leg where you need it to be, and shower comfortably. Makes sense to me.

So the weeks pass, your bone is healing and you have plenty of time to think of what you are going to eat next. Boredom is the perfect recipe for eating more than you should. Trust me, I speak of experience. Not being able to exercise a lot isn’t helping things either. Another bag of chips, a candy bar and a soda to go along with the 100th movie you’ve watched in the past weeks. Thank goodness all you’re wearing are comfortable sweat pants and your favorite old t-shirts. Life is good. Time for another nap, being bored is sooooo exhausting.  Instead of that candy bar have a healthy snack like a granola bar or fruit chews, it tastes just as good only it’s good for you.

Eat Healthy

Did you know that there are things you can do while you’re healthy to help prevent damage and help you heal if you do have an accident?  Well there are and they are simple. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of them. I.e. your bones need calcium to thrive and be strong, so make sure what you eat (milk, broccoli, nuts) fulfills this need. Salmon, sardines and nuts are good for your joint’s health. The muscles thrive on eggs, salmon, berries and nuts. You see there are foods that favor more than one body part. All you have to do is eat them responsibly. By this I mean to balance your diet, not too much of one thing and too little of another. When your bones are stronger, they are more resistant and therefore, don’t break as easily. If your muscle is strong, it helps protect the bone, cushions it. The other factor is weight. The more you weigh the harder your body has to work to heal. So staying in shape through diet and regular exercise, join a gym, is important not only to prevent health issues but to help resolve them when they do happen. I also recommend cordyceps and maca.

Finally the day has arrived, the cast is coming off and you think you are going to be walking out the door as if nothing had happened. Surprise! It will still hurt and you are going to have to really get used to walking again, painfully so. The other big revelation is about to hit home. Now that you’re rid of the cast and ready to get back in the groove you want to lose the sweat pants and you think, finally I can wear my jeans again. Notttttt! You have gained about 10 pounds and they just won’t close. Back in the sweat pants you go, only now they feel awful because you know it’s not what you want to wear.

It’s time to fess up and get moving. Start slowly. Remember it took you several weeks to gain the weight and lose the muscle tone, it’s going to take you a little longer to get it all back to where you want it. If you still need the walker or crutches at the beginning, that’s fine, but you should wean yourself from it/them. You can do this by walking slowly, without carrying things and setting goals. For example: this morning I’m going to walk to the television to turn it on and forget about the remote. When I get back to the couch I can rest.

That’s a start, but you have to do a little more.  How much you do is up to you. You are the best judge as to what your body can handle and what it can’t. Pain a little, yes, a lot no. Pain is there for a reason. It shows us our limits. And above all the top authority on what you can do, should do and will do, will be your doctor.

Strengthen Your Body

There are exercises you can do to strengthen the leg muscle while sitting. We already wrote how to become strong. Just push your heel into the floor to build resistance. When you’re used to that you can start flexing the toes towards yourself and back towards the ground. You’ll see you’re starting to engage a whole new muscle group. Yes it hurts, but you’re going to have to get over that.

No pain no gain, no wiser words were ever said.  Lifting your leg towards your torso, at first bent, then outstretched (remember to always keep the knee bent a bit) is another sit down exercise. Getting up off the couch(what a revelation) or a chair and sitting back down has quite an effect too. But beware, it’s about repetition, so do at least 6 repeats. Once you feel good enough walking is the best thing you can do to work out in an efficient and non-aggressive way.

Now that you are moving, that nagging voice directing you towards the chips and chocolate should slowly be subsiding. It’s time to lose the mood for food my friend. What helps here is water. Yes, pure and simple water. The more you drink the less hungry you are going to be. Best part, this stuff has no calories.

Besides filling you up it hydrates your body and helps you get rid of the toxins you may have acquired. Being more active also lets you go back to eating healthier. Eating the right things, moving the right way and drinking water will have you out of those sweat pants and back in your jeans in no time. The only thing you need is a little bit of willpower, a lot of patience with yourself and perseverance.

You can do it, I know you can. And when you’re out there jogging again, I hope, every now and then you’ll think back on what I wrote and remember all it takes is one good move at a time to get back into the groove of things. Above all try being healthier by using some of the advice about how to prevent accidents by making yourself stronger and healthier through a balanced and healthy diet and regular exercise. Happy Healthing!