Preventing Weight Gain with Injuries
When you’re injured, it can be all too easy to gain weight because you can’t get your body moving properly. A broken foot, sore knees, torn hamstring or bad back are all things that might keep us from not only karate training, but other exercise.
Don’t despair! There are plenty of things you can do to prevent extra weight gain while you’re recovering from injury.
Cut the calories
Active people tend to have healthy appetites, which is not a concern as they are able to burn off their calorie intake with physical activity. If an active person is injured, they may face a challenge maintaining their weight because they don’t adjust their eating habits accordingly.
Consider decreasing your portion sizes and cutting down on your snacking for the duration of your injury. If you’re really struggling to cut out the snacks, look for healthy alternatives like seeds, fruit and nuts.
Avoid drinking empty calories like soda when you’re thirsty. Try hydrating with low calorie beverages such as water with fruit, or a cup of tea.
The dojo (or the gym) isn’t the only place to burn calories. Depending on your type of injury, you may consider alternatives to your normal routine. Activities such as yoga, biking, weights, swimming or resistance training are all great replacements.
Park further away from your workplace so you walk more every day. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or do a lap of the block in your lunch break. All of the extra moving minutes add up, and every calorie you burn counts.
Performing karate techniques while sitting or lying down can also burn calories, as well as keep your technique in check!
Create a meal plan
It can be tough to make healthy choices after a long day at work. By creating a meal plan for the week ahead, you’ll remove the guesswork from your daily meals. This means you’ll also remove the temptation to stop for fast food on the way home, or to fill yourself up on cheese and crackers as soon as you walk in the door.
Prepare as much of your meal as you can in advance (or enlist help from family members) so that everything is ready to cook when you get home.
Standing is good for you
A 2013 study by Dr John Buckley from the Department of Clinical Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Chester showed that simply standing can burn around 50 calories (209kj) an hour.
Dr Buckley calculated that working at a standing desk for three hours a day will burn an extra 144 calories (602kj). In a year this will equate to more than 30,000 calories (125520kj), or eight pounds (3.6kg) of human fat.
Prolonged sitting is also linked to higher blood pressure, blood sugar problems, and an increased risk of heart disease, among other health issues.
If you are really too sore to do any exercise, simply try standing while you’re talking on the phone or watching TV. You could do ironing, dishes or other household chores while watching your favourite shows!
Clearly, the more active you can be during your daily life, the better. However, it’s important to also make sure you also use this time to heal and take care of your mind and body. You might even end up coming back stronger and fitter than before your injury!
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