how to take a break from working out, without going crazy

Does anyone know the answer to this?

Please kindly respond in the comments below.

The end.

How to take a break from the gym without going crazy

Just kidding. But not really. 😉

Taking a break from the gym, especially when you’re finally feeling good/better and want to move, IS HARD. It’s hard when you have a baby and would love the endorphins and time for yourself. It’s hard when you’re injured, because you can’t move the way you’re used to. And it’s hard when you’re healing from an illness or procedure, because you’re itching and fantasizing about feeling good and being able to get back into your life and routine. I hear ya! Oh man. Do I hear ya. I’m sending hugs and empathy to everyone who is going through this because it’s tough, especially when you enjoy living an active life. 

I’ve received so many questions about this one, especially since I recently had to take 6 weeks off following P’s birth, and am in the beginning of another 6 weeks off following my surgery. (PS every day, I’m like YES. One day closer to working out!!)

Gymmin

Here’s one of the questions I received:

I have a stress fracture at the moment, which means 4-6 weeks in a cast and crutches. I noticed you said you are on 6 weeks rest as well – any tips on how NOT to go crazy and kill your happily-exercising-endorphined husband? (mine is training for a marathon). I just want to sink into bed with cupcakes and wine and say byeeee till mid-May. How do I keep my eats clean? My mind engaged? And the jealous monster at bay?

(Gabrielle, come on over. We can watch TV, eat cupcakes and drink wine .)

Some of my tips are below, including how I’ve managed to maintain my (partial?) sanity, and (have tried) to keep my jealousy of the Pilot at bay:

-Use the energy for something else. Each week, I’ve had something major to distract me, which has been wonderful. Last week my mom was here, and this week we’re focusing on putting Livi’s new room together. We are majorly clearing it out to make room for her new bed, and storing a lot of toys. While I can’t do a lot of the physical work, I can certainly organize smaller items, and pick out cute things from Land of Nod. 😉 During the 6-week break, we also have friends visiting from out of town, a Tucson trip, my brother’s 21st birthday, and 2 weddings, so there are lots of things to keep me engaged. It’s when I don’t have anything to do that I start to feel sad and blah.

I’ve also used the 45 minutes to an hour each day that I’d usually spend working out for something else I truly enjoy. I’ve tackled some projects around the house (like Livi’s photo albums that I ordered photos for, but never actually put away), random crafts (one coming to the blog soon! It involves a thousand wine corks haha), and READING. I have really enjoyed getting sucked into good books lately, and it’s a nice distraction from my lack of sweat and activity. 

-Focus on what you CAN do. My doctor said she wanted me up and living my life as soon as I felt better, and that I could go on neighborhood walks (just to watch my pace and keep it slow). I’m going to start this later this week since walking feels completely normal. I’ll start with short walks and increase from there. Usually doctors will tell you what you can do within your specified limitations. For example, if you have a joint injury, you may still be able to do low-impact exercise like walking, swimming, or Pilates/yoga. If you have a hand or arm injury, you may be able to lift lower body weights and do cardio. If one or both legs are injured, you may be able to do upper body strength. Or, you may really need to take time off from everything. Talk to your doctor, and see what they recommend based on your unique situation.

-Wear a Fitbit ONLY if seeing lower numbers will not bother you. I’ve been wearing my Fitbit since my surgery, not because I want to crush my 10k goal (spoiler: I won’t get close), but because it helps me remain mindful of my calorie burn. I know it’s taboo to talk about calories/weight/etc, but I feel like in scenarios like this, it’s very common to consider potential weight gain. When you go from extremely active to sedentary, and you’re consuming the same amount of calories, this will lead to weight gain. While Fitbit numbers aren’t completely accurate, they’re a good comparison number, so you can see about how much less you’re burning on average and adjust from there. I find that I’m not quite as hungry when I’m not working out, so my body naturally does this for me. But, I do keep this in mind during breaks from the gym so that when I return, I’m not focused on losing weight, just building back muscle, strength, and endurance. (And trying to keep myself from running around high-fiving everyone because I’m so.dang.happy to be back.)

Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that you need fuel to heal. So just because you’re burning less, this don’t not mean that you should drastically reduce your intake. It just helps me to stay mindful and make smarter choices because I’m not burning as much. Fresh fruits, veggies, healthy fats, smart carbs, and lots of protein will help you heal! (And cupcakes are good for the soul, so I’ll just have one, or will eat a few bites and really enjoy it.)

-Remember that it’s a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things. It’s SO important to take the time to rest and recover properly, or you could end up right back where you are, or even worse. While it sucks to take a break, remember that 6 weeks (or however long), is small potatoes when you think about the months and years you’ll continue to be active. I like to tell myself that I’ll come back even stronger than before, and can really crush it since I’ll be fully recovered and feeling better. It’s not worth it to push your limitations. Use this time to rest and send healing love to your body. Continue to think positively, even when it’s hard, because I really think it can have a positive effect on healing. 

-Know that it’s ok and normal to feel a little jealous and sad. Yes, I feel sad when the Pilot comes home from the gym, crushing a Shakeology smoothie and covered in sweat. At the same time, it makes me happy because he’s taking great care of himself. At least one of us can still work out and give each other the details on our usual gym friends. (There is a guy at the gym who wears a tiny dog like a baby while he strength trains. It’s adorable, weird and amazing.)

To all of my friends out there also taking a break: hang in there! Before we know it, this time will be over and we’ll be back better than ever, k?

If you have any more tips or insight to share, I would love to hear them!!

xoxo

Gina

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Comments

  1. I guess I’m the only one who is THRILLED when I have to take a forced break from exercise … not having to work out during the 6 week post-partum period was heaven for me. I still haven’t figured out how others can love working out so. much. I’ve tried every activity under the sun and I’d still rather do anything but work out. I force myself to move to stay healthy, but I’d much rather sit on my butt, ha ha.

    • You’re not the only one! I feel the same. I hate exercise. I’m not good at it, it doesn’t give me an endorphin high (or even much of a boost) and I’ve tried everything in hopes of finding activity I enjoy. I feel like part of why I’ve been reading here for 6 years is because I’m hoping to learn this mindset from Gina. LOL.

      I know it’s just a cognitive thing, too. I have exercise mentally shelved in “things I hate to do”, not “things I’m so glad I can do because I like my self-identity of being a fitness fan and I like the benefits”.

      Occasionally I remind myself of people who are wheelchair bound or otherwise unable to move freely and that helps some… seeing the joy of movement as fulfilling because not having the option at all ever, to even walk or lift a child or stoop to get something you dropped, would be so horrible.

  2. Thanks for this, Gina! I really needed this, today 🙂 Much like you, I’ve been trying to focus on other fun activities to keep my mind preoccupied and to possibly even start new hobbies that I’ve never given myself the time to do before. I’m finding some fun new ways to spend my “injury time” and will probably keep them up even after I have the doctor’s go-ahead. Good luck with your injury–happy and healthy healing!

  3. These two sentences made my entire day, “(There is a guy at the gym who wears a tiny dog like a baby while he strength trains. It’s adorable, weird and amazing.)”! I cannot stop giggling at the image this produced!

  4. I needed this article…I’m about to start IVF and have bee told that I can only walk…and not get my heart rate above 140. I’m trying to find things to look forward to throughout the summer to “pull” me forward…as well as more sedimentary activities like reading and working on my lettering skills until I can get back to the gym. I’m most worried about keeping my eating clean, so I’m going to try meal planning/prep to keep things under control!

    • Good luck, Leslie! I have my fingers crossed for you.

    • Good luck with the IVF!

    • Leslie! I have been there! “Only walking” was tough during my IVF time, but….I was willing to do (or not do!) whatever it took. I tried to keep a positive attitude and look at it as “at least I can walk!” And walk I did. And now I have a beautiful 1 year old daughter! So worth it! During my 1st trimister I wasn’t allowed to lift heavy weights, but I still lifted and did a lot of bodyweight exercises or walks on the treadmill while reading books. As Gina implied….such a short time in the scheme of things. Best of luck to you!!! <3

  5. Maybe some mind/spirit yoga…meditation and some deep breathing? While not physical, it could give people the time they need to clear their heads and visualize their goals when they can workout again! Workout breaks are so super hard. I used to treat my physical therapy like my “workout” time when I was recovering from a knee surgery. It was a chance to focus on my physical wellness and while nothing like real working out, it still helped me feel like I was doing something.

  6. Gina I’m a longtime reader, but this is borderline disordered to me… sorry. & I am a fitness fanatic. my friends will even give me a hard time for being so adamant about getting in my workout. But this is totally insane & honestly irresponsible to put out there… letting your body rest for less than 2 months is NO BIG DEAL. If you are really having trouble “maintaining your sanity” because you can’t workout, I would really assess what’s at the root of that issue.

    If you’re just terrified of losing weight, you should know more than most that diet is really the key contributor to not gaining weight and feeling good.

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, just food for thought. I think you are taking this to the extreme and you have decided to put that out for the world to read so you are going to get feedback.

    • *gaining weight. or losing muscle. typo!

    • I agree. I love your blog and feel the same way when obliged to stop working out, but I am seeing a therapist for that because this is a sign of exercise addiction. I have caused myself a lot of stress, obsessive behaviors and some injuries because I was not able to stop when my body needed to. Taking a long walk instead of working out should be OK. Life is more than fitness.

      • Fitnessista says:

        i’m sorry to hear you’re going through that.
        my situation is different because i’m ok waiting it out until i get the ok again. i don’t feel stressed about it or like i *need* to work out, i just miss it.

    • Fitnessista says:

      hi melissa,

      thank you so much for reading for so long. i’m going to have to disagree with you on the disordered comment. it would definitely be considered disordered if i was working out anyway, or resumed exercise before i was cleared to. there are some bloggers who also gave birth recently and were working out (and blogging about it) weeks before they were cleared. i’m happy to chill and let my body heal. the phrase “losing your mind” or “maintaining my sanity” are tongue in cheek- not serious at all. as a fellow fitness fanatic, you probably know how it feels to want to be and be active and not be able to. there are a lot of other things i’ve been enjoying, which i’ve mentioned above. fitness is one of my hobbies, and my job, so of course i’m going to miss it when i’m taking a combined 3 months off from exercise. (which IS a long time if you’re used to working out 4-5 times a week.) i’m happy to do it if it means i can recover safely from this medical issue.

      i’m not terrified of gaining weight because i’ve maintained my weight (minus the whole pregnancy and birth thing) for about 10 years. a lot of people ask for my thoughts/tips regarding food and fitness so i thought it was worth sharing. i expected to get some flack about it because mentioning calories or weight usually leads to that. this blog is usually written in a “safe” way, thinking about how i’m going to get negative feedback for what i say, but i’m not going to do that anymore.

      thanks for the feedback.

      • Thanks for the reply. I actually wasn’t even referring to the calories part, & I appreciate more candid bloggers so I’m glad you’re not going to hold back. It is annoying when people get offended by everything, & calories are a real part of weight loss and maintenance whether people like it or not.

        I was mostly just referring to a lot of the phrases you used — I found some disturbing in the context of this post. However, it seems from your reply that maybe they were more of an exaggeration. I would instead suggest that you just be careful with your use of hyperbole — I know you use it a lot in your regular posts, but for something more sensitive it can come off wrong like it did here.

        • Fitnessista says:

          hi melissa,
          thanks for the reply. that totally makes sense. i’ll be cognizant of how i phrase things to make sure my true intention is there.

    • Melissa, I have to say I think you’re way off-base. Gina has always said that working out is about way more than weight loss, and she never insinuated that she was terrified of gaining weight. Working out feels amazing, and when you love to be active, it’s extremely challenging to feel like you can’t use your body. I’m currently recovering from an injury and I feel exactly the same way. I think it’s wrong to suggest that that’s somehow pathological.

    • I have to agree with Melissa. I cringed when I read about using the fitbit to track calories.

      It’s not that it’s taboo to talk about calories. It’s that it is disordered to think about calories all the time when you are a totally healthy weight. If we really do embrace health and body acceptance over all else (which I know I’ve heard from you!), then gaining some pounds while taking time to heal is not something to be feared, worried about, or tracked.

      I think the issue comes with the conflict in your message. It can’t be all about health and loving yourself one day and then making sure you don’t gain any vanity pounds the next.

      • Fitnessista says:

        I don’t use it to track or count anything, but to stay mindful about the fact that I’m moving less. I don’t understand why it has to be black or white. You can love your body and want your jeans to still fit you at the same time.

        • Couldn’t agree more Gina. Can’t we ALL just admit that we care about how we look, of course to varying degrees b/c we are all different human beings? It’s part of being women. It DOES NOT have to be a bad thing and doesn’t need to be tiptoed around. We all want to love our bodies, be healthy and be able to look in the mirror and be happy with what we see. There is nothing wrong with admitting that…it’s a shared goal! I get so tired of people throwing the word “disordered” around. If someone wants to lose a little weight and enjoy the benefits of working out in that way, then let them! You do you, you know? If you don’t want to trim your thighs, then don’t! Some people do. Gina does not have a responsibility to avoid the word “calories” (which, gasp, actually exist and some make you gain weight quicker than others) in her own blog posts!

        • Gina I agree with you 100%. I don’t understand why it has to be black and white either. Injuries/illnesses cause a lot of feelings that sometimes conflict with each other, that’s just being a person. You can be happy you are recovering AND unhappy that you aren’t able to do everything you want to do. You probably feel a lot of other things, too. I think it would be more disordered to pretend you aren’t feeling something that you are, that something doesn’t bother you when it does, or that you don’t feel conflicted when you do.

  7. Great post, but one thing I’ve wondered for a while is when did it start becoming “taboo” to talk about calories and weight loss? This isn’t referring to you specifically, but I’ve definitely noticed this trend over the years within the blog and fitness community, and I really don’t understand it. I totally get that we should focus on eating healthy and working out for our health, first and foremost, but let’s be real….vanity is a HUGE motivation for a lot of people. I hate when people in the fitness community try to dismiss this fact, or even worse, make it seem shameful or like looking good isn’t something we should aspire to as women. I don’t think vanity alone is enough to sustain habits over the long-term, and it can definitely send you into disordered thinking if you let it, but it can also be good motivation to get started. Anyway, just some food for thought. 🙂

    • Fitnessista says:

      hi karen,
      yeah, i think it’s kind of weird. i think as a whole a lot of us stopped writing about the vanity aspect of health (side note: i see this SO MUCH as a trainer. people come in because they want to be healthy, but they come in far more often saying they want thinner legs or to reduce their belly) or calories/weight because people will throw the disordered card in your face so quickly.
      i think there’s a way to do this tactfully without offending those who truly have suffered or are suffering from disordered habits, but i’m still trying to find that way. so i think a lot of blogger just try to stay on the safe side. someone is always mad, no matter how hard you try to please everyone.
      xo

      • agreed. I actually get much more annoyed with bloggers who won’t admit that at least some of it is about how they look. in fact, implying that its just about health is insulting if you think about it — people can be healthy with many body types and various weights on the scale.

  8. I actually think it’s ok to miss working out, especially when it’s your job. If you love what you do it’s not work right? I don’t thinks it’s fair to make comparisons as we’re each individual’s making our way through life. The question was not should I or shouldn’t I worry about working out. And, more to the point if I’m right Gina it was rhetorical- you gave all the answers. Let’s have More celebrating and less criticizing ladies.

  9. Hope you’re back at it soon! Good luck staying busy, although I’m sure your girls will help with that.

  10. I hope that one day I can love working out enough to miss it when I can’t! I find that whenever I get off the workout train for some reason and then get back to it I realize just how much I miss it! anyway I love this post! Totally awesome and real as always!

  11. Hi Gina,
    First off, you look amazing! I’m glad you are feeling better. I understand what you’re going through. Healthy living and fitness is a huge part of your life because it’s a job! I feel like going stir crazy if I can’t work either. I took maternity leave from teaching elementary school and couldn’t wait to get back. With a baby at home, we all need our “me time”. My job gives me a purpose and time away from
    home to focus on something else. I understand how fitness is your daily escape. People love to judge and comment and I applaud you for always responding so kindly to others. You truly are an inspiration of how to “let it go”. Cheers to you and your positive attitude!

  12. Thanks for this post. I have been wrestling with only working out in a very limited capacity the past 3 months, though I haven’t been prohibited from it. I am in my last semester of an intense grad school program, and while I managed to fit in working out for the first three semesters, this semester it has fallen by the wayside. It’s funny too, because usually exercise is a stress-reliever for me, but this semester I have felt like what my body needs more is less rushing around and more calm and sleep. I was good about giving myself grace for the first half of the semester, but it’s been harder the past month and a half. But I keep reminding myself that this is only a (relatively short) season, and in the long run I won’t ever regret listening to my body. Thanks for the thoughtful way you approached this conversation!

  13. Hi Gina!
    I am a longtime reader but never comment until now. I felt defensive of you when I read the above comments. Like you I had to take time off postpartum (my little lady is almost 3 months!) and while I needed time to heal I grieved my lost exercise time. NOT bc I am disordered or addicted but exercise and fitness has become my stress reliever of choice. I now have 3 little girls (and a hubby!) who keep me busy day and night. My fitness is my time for me to focus on staying strong and healthy for my family, grab some awesome endorphins, and overall clear my head. I worked out until the day I gave birth (with modifications!) and am used to working out 4-5 days a week like you are. 6 weeks off felt like a loooong time but I really did stick to walking and simple squats (calming an overtired babe!) etc. once I got the all clear, People thought I was crazy when they offered to watch the baby so I could take a quick break and I used the hour to go to my favorite gym class. I need that and crave it, just as you do. There are many people in this world with far less healthy stress relievers (alcohol, cigarettes, etc etc). Don’t listen to the negativity- I completely understood your tone in this post and you are NOT alone! Or disordered or whatever.
    I like your tips and my other one is to set goals for what I want to work for when I am back at it full strength!
    Sending you best wishes for a healthy and speedy recovery!
    Much love.

    • This is exactly how I felt. I recently had to take some time off for kidney stones that were too stubborn to move quickly, and it was really tough. Not to mention, I wasn’t really moving at all because I was in pain – lots of horizontal hours and limiting all types of movement. After the stones passed, I was excited to work out again, slowly building back up. Working out clears my head, is a great stress reliever after work, and makes my body feel better (and look better, which is also okay to say). I just feel more like myself when I can move!

      I grew up playing all sorts of sports since age 5, competed in college, and continue to work out about 4-5 days a week now. My parents never made me do sports or pushed me to do more – I just loved it and it’s become a part of who I am. That’s the thing – movement and working out become a *lifestyle* when done right – something you can maintain and do in a healthy way for a long time. Changing a lifestyle (for good or bad) is very hard, especially when it’s something you don’t want to do but are forced to do (like to stop working out).

    • Loved your note here, Taylor. We appreciate our time for fitness so much more when there are so many other responsibilities in our lives. Great comment.

    • Fitnessista says:

      hi taylor,
      thank you so much for commenting and congratulations to you on your baby girl! sounds like you and i are a lot alike. i can live without gym time, but i certainly miss it when it’s taken away. excited to get back into it! you’re right; there are far more unhealthy stress relievers out there. 😉
      xoxo

  14. So sorry you’re going through this, but glad that you are resting and recovering! I think you’ve got a great, balanced mindset when it comes to this time period. It’s really hard to miss out on working out when it becomes such a lifestyle. There is nothing disordered about wanting to move your body and trying to optimize your recovery 🙂

    Not the same situation at ALL, but I have asthma – and when I get sick and congested in my chest I absolutely have to change my workouts to be less aerobic so I can breathe! I just take it as a new way to incorporate some more slow strength moves, focus on nutrition, and most of all – take it easy and get better.

  15. You hit all good key points. After reading some of the comments, I feel like perhaps some people have an incomplete understanding of eating disorders or disordered eating patterns. For example, I find nothing wrong with tracking calorie intake if you treat food as only fuel. Moreover the notion that medical breaks aren’t a big deal downplays the multiple aspects that an active lifestyle can contribute to a person’s wellbeing. Working out is a key component of my life – socially, I see friends & acquaintances at the studio or gym, emotionally I feel like a better “me” when I am more active and of course, physically, the endorphins! This one-dimensional attitude on exercise & food as fuel may underscore why some people confuse the difference between healthy active lifestyles & disordered eating.

  16. Well, with all my injuries last year I know this one all too well. First, not all injuries mean you’re on a time out from the gym. Depending on the injury, you may still be able to lift weights, do pilates, PT, swim or bike. I did all of the above with a broken tibia last year while I was on crutches for 3 months people! If I can do it, so can you. Also, keep reminding yourself that diet is like 98% of the game. Everyone freaks out that they’re going to gain weight, but the truth is that diet matters most. Last, remember your body is where it’s at for a reason. It needs rest and sometimes if we do too much or push it to the limits, it will do more harm than good so curl up with a good book, marathon watch Netflix movies and do all of your online shopping now. And if you’re a blogger, dive into the 197387340587043 things you have to do!

  17. Hi Gina, I can totally relate as I am coming off of 7 weeks of crutches from a skiing injury and the laying around was really getting to me! I also have two young girls so I just need to get out of the house sometimes but my one go-to for stress release (yoga, hike, walk, anything!) was no longer available. So frustrating and nothing else seemed to make me feel good. I was ready to crawl out of my skin and was so aware of my lack of energy despite all the rest. But it’s all temporary and I chose to take in all the good that comes from having to slow down like enjoying being more present with my girls and my husband and how he got to take on a more involved role around the house. Anyway, just wanted to throw you some love because it takes being in that exact spot with these circumstances to understand that you just want to move your body and feel good! xo from North SD!

  18. I’m so glad you are on the mend and feeling better. It’s tough when life throws us curveballs. I have always thought you have a mindful, common sense approach to fitness. It was difficult for me to take a break from fitness post babies and difficult deliveries. My mind and stress level needed a good sweat. It helped with my PPA too. One thing that helped me was finding other relaxation techniques. If you are able to take baths, Epsom salt baths are wonderful. I’ve had some injuries too and finding alternatives like walking or Pilates has helped. Keeping my mind occupied and busy are helpful also. Sounds like you have fun projects to do. Hope you are all healed soon.

  19. What a great post, Gina! I can very much understand the feeling of wanting to work out but not being able to. It’s not a compulsion (although I recognize it can be for some people). It’s something that makes me feel happy and feeling good.

    Like one of the above posters, I’ve been doing IVF. I recently finished my third attempt and will start a 4th at a new/better clinic this summer. After my 2nd IVF cycle, my ovaries went insane. They were as large as potatoes apparently. There was so much pressure on my organs down there that I wasn’t able to get back to full physical activity for 2 months! I couldn’t walk on a treadmill faster than 2.5 miles per hour for a month. As someone who normally spends 1 hr at the gym every day, it was very challenging. Luckily, I discovered after a month that I could swim comfortably and developed a love for swimming. It was also dispiriting because the inactivity coupled with all the hormone drugs and lack of mindful eating made me gain weight. I managed to lose some of it afterward, but then regained some with my 3rd IVF cycle. I’m 4 weeks out from my most recent IVF cycle (or at least the egg retrieval part). I had the severe pain again due to the enlarged ovaries, but I was back at full physical activity 3 weeks after the retrieval. I’m very happy to be able to do whatever I want at the gym.

  20. As weird as this may sound, this is my goal– to be BUMMED if/when I have an injury or other condition that prevents me from exercising! I am starting to enjoy it more (and just wrote a blog post about it- another way you’re inspiring me!)… and have just started noticing (for the first time EVER that I can remember) that I get a bit antsy and cranky if I have to sit in a meeting or prepare a lesson or do something “boring” instead of going to OrangeTheory or run club after work! So I’m really looking forward to the day when I am legitimately going crazy without it, because it will mean it’s become an awesome and totally normal part of my life. Best wishes in your recovery! 🙂

  21. Ugh. I totally understand where you’re coming from. Back in January I hurt my back (lacerated glute muscle) so I was restricted from doing any heavy lower body lifting… Coming from a powerlifter, this is extremely difficult. Then, 4 weeks ago while bench pressing, I heard a pop and couldn’t move my arm. Today I have an MRI and they think I tore my labrum. So now NO lifting AT ALL. It’s TERRIBLE! I will try to use your positive thinking to get me through this!

  22. This is a very thoughtful post. And spot on. I tore my hamstring when I was pregnant with twins and I was straight up miserable. After the girls were born I had to heal from the deliveries and my prior injury. Add hormones to the mix and you have one sad, crazy person. It’s so frustrating when you have to take time off. It feels so unfair at times. But you are right about realizing this is all a moment in time. You will get passed it and will be thankful you took the time to rest and recover properly.

  23. These are all great tips … enjoy the down time while you can! When I was down for the count, it helped to catch up on blog stuff and start cleaning out rooms and closets for our move. It’s not terribly exciting, but it’s at least something that is productive and distracting 😉

  24. I love working out as well, but we all know that health has to be our priority. xo Lauren

  25. I was sidelined for ages last fall. Because of surgery I was not able to wear a shoe, and because of that not allowed to drive. I did walk on crutches around the block right after weaning off the extra strength painkillers (and finally knowing which way was up). Now, that was not nearly as frustrating as the next two months of not being allowed to run or train, but sort of feeling like I could theoretically. It was so much easier to just plain see why I can’t exercise than look somewhat normal (except for limping when I walked, but you know “normal”) and not be allowed to even try running. Just a little bit. Walking, slowly, outdoors was a big mood booster to me especially when I started to get stir crazy. I had plans but not nearly enough of them. I read a bunch of books, and watched reruns, but neither was fulfilling enough. (Not to a person who loves a good sweat.)

    I ended up having some complications and three months break turned into almost four months, but I do agree: keep busy. No matter what it is, just do something. I love Gina’s idea of projects! Something that helped me tremendously on the eats department was meal planning to the extreme. I had a prepared lunch for me and nothing unhealthy to snack on instead. So all I could do (especially when I was limited to the nearest block) was either eat it or be hungry. Also I kept telling myself I have to fuel my body well for it to be able to heal. This would have been a success, but when I heard that my healing hasn’t exactly happened as planned I dove face first into a cake. and had a chocolate flavored pity party for an entire month.

    Also, getting a tattoo, especially if it is on a body part that gets stretched or bounced during exercise is a great idea on a forced fitness break. 🙂

  26. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I love exercising. I love the endorphins. It’s my “me” time away from my four kids. It makes me feel strong and powerful and ready to tackle all the issues at home. It’s stress relief and there’s nothing wrong with missing it.

  27. Great post! I relate 100% to everything you said. I exercise daily & even like to move in some form on my rest days because it just makes me feel better. Exercise is such a great stress reliever! And it’s time I spend for myself. I was stunned when I read the 1st negative comment; I truly didn’t expect anything like that at all. I would totally have referred to exercise as “saving my sanity” as well. And show me 1 woman who wouldn’t worry (to some extent) about gaining weight when you’re a regular exerciser & have been sidelined for a period of time… totally natural! Nobody wants to gain weight. We all want to feel good in our clothes. What’s wrong w/ that??? I think all of your suggestions are excellent. I wouldn’t change a thing. I had a surgical procedure several years ago & just tried to eat a bit cleaner during the time I couldn’t be as active, & I did what I could (more walks at a slower pace, more stretching & barre-type exercises). I actually lost weight – probably because I changed up my routine (as you’re frequently reminding us to do). 😉 Just another great reminder that “this too shall pass” & we’ll get our fitness level back in no time & this moment will just be a blip on the timeline when we look back. Great post Gina!

  28. This could not have been a more timely post for me to read! I have the blues from having to take a break due to a back injury… I would love to see a post on how you safely start back up exercising once you’re back!

  29. Interesting article especially for those who love gyming but going through a tough time. You have included some interesting points by which anyone can easily utilize his energy without getting bored at home. Thanks for this amazing write-up.

  30. Gabrielle says:

    Gina – this blog post was right on the money. See you later for tv and cupcakes 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I actually called husband over and I was like – “I’m famous! I’m on Ginas blog!” He was like – “settle down my little squirrel, don’t jump up and down, you’re other leg will fracture!” HAHAHA!

    Thanks again for doing this post – for advice, for the love, for the ideas. Much love to you – we will get through this!

    xxx

    • Fitnessista says:

      come on over! 🙂
      that comment cracked me up. i read it to tom this morning hahah
      we’ll be back at it soon enough, and will be stronger than ever <3
      xoxo!!

  31. Great post!! I totally rely on exercise to give me that endorphin-high that gets me in a great mood for my day. I recently took time off on a trip to London (we still walked and walked and walked everyday), but I didn’t do any strenuous exercise and the first few days were really hard for me, but then I just realized that my body needed the rest. I am also feeling under the weather this week so have had to rest instead of exercise the past couple days and it drives me nuts. I know it is great that I love to exercise, but it certainly makes it harder when I HAVE to take time off.

  32. This is really hard! I just had our first beautiful baby boy and expected to be a bit more active afterwards. Im the independent type and having limitations is hard! It’s so worth it though and I just keep saying it is temporary.

  33. What an awesome post! Thanks for sharing. I work with a lot of people who struggle with mobility issues and will keep your tips in mind for when those conversations come up. In my own life, I have definitely struggled with the lack of endorphins when needing to take a break, and I’ve also found that having distractions/projects are helpful.

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