How to Deal with Exercise & Fitness Setbacks

When you’re putting all your time and effort into getting your fitness and health to where you want it to be, it can be really difficult to cope when you experience a setback. But these things happen all the time and the question is how you deal with those situations; that’s always what matters most.


If you respond badly and start to embrace all the hallmarks of a generally unhealthy lifestyle, you’ll go backwards faster than you ever anticipated and that’s clearly not what you want. Here’s how to deal with setbacks in the right way and in a healthy way, so keep reading to learn more.



Don’t Get Disheartened


When you experience a setback with your health and fitness goals, it can be tricky. No one wants to find themselves in that situation but you also don’t want to end up going backwards as a result of your setback. 


If you allow yourself to get too down about it, you’ll lose the gains that you’ve made and you’ll throw away your progress to date. That’s clearly not what you want to happen, so try to stay positive and find the silver lining in the situation.


Deal with the Reality of the Situation


If you’ve been injured or something like that, you should try to deal with the situation in an honest and realistic way. There’s no point kidding yourself into thinking that you can just ignore the situation and carry on as before because that’s not going to happen.


Instead, look for ways to get past your problems and ways to overcome the challenges you’re faced with. Being realistic about things is the only way to get things back on track properly.



When You Suffer an Injury, Focus on Recovery First


The recovery part of the process is not one that can be dismissed or overlooked when you’re dealing with an injury. Whether it’s a broken leg or trauma to the face, you need to focus on your recovery before you think about getting back to exercise.


Stay in Regular Contact with Your Doctor


You should try to remain in regular contact with your doctor if you are dealing with an injury that’s setting you back. That way, you’ll be able to track your progress better, which will in turn help you feel better about the whole situation.


By staying in regular contact with your doctor, you’ll also have their continued input and be able to get helpful advice from them on a regular basis. In doing so, you’ll be able to progress faster and hopefully get back to normal faster too.



Find New Ways to be Active


Just because you’ve experienced a setback that’s stopping you from being active in certain ways, that doesn’t mean you can’t be active at all. In fact, you certainly can. With so many great ways of exercising nowadays, there’s sure to be an option out there.


How you go about this will of course depend on your fitness and the injury that you’re dealing with. It’s something that you should talk to your doctor or physiotherapist about because they’ll be able to advise you on safe ways to remain active while you recover.


Keep Motivating Yourself


Staying motivated through the tough times is one of the most difficult things of all. You don’t want to lose your motivation because it can be hard to get back. So try to stay on top of this, even if you’re sidelined from action for a while.


There are lots of ways of motivating yourself through the tough times, but it’s mostly about keeping yourself focused on your end goals and thinking about how you can reach them in the fastest possible time.



Use Adaptable Goals


Goals are really important when you suffer a fitness setback. You don’t want to lose focus on what you’re doing and trying to achieve with your exercise and fitness efforts. But your goals also can’t stay too fixed and rigid either.


Using adaptable goals that can change and shift as and when they need to will be really important. There’s nothing wrong with your goals and methods changing as long as you stay focused on your ultimate aims and goals.


Combine Activity with the Right Kind of Diet


It’s also important to remember that your diet needs to shift and change as your activity levels too. You don’t need to eat the same kind of diet when you’re recuperating after an injury as you were when you were hitting the gym for hours a day.


Find the diet that’s right for your lifestyle and levels of activity at a given time. This will differ from person to person. But don’t make the mistake of continuing to eat more than you need to because you’ll simply lose your gains even faster that way.


Find Support and External Motivators


Getting support from other people can be a great thing too. When you have an exercise partner or a fitness buddy who you work out with, they can really motivate you, including through the setbacks that you might experience along the way. That support makes a real difference.


It’s one of the reasons why exercising via team sports can be so much fun and so productive. You have support and motivation coming from all sides and the successes of your teammates can help to spur you on as you try to achieve more.



No matter what sets you back and stops you from reaching your exercise and fitness goals in the way you wanted to, there’s a way around it and a way to get back on track. It might take some mental toughness and a clever approach, but if you can do that, you’ll get to where you need to be.


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