I'm writing this as I sit on the stationary bike at the gym listening to my Zen-out playlist. Under my breathe I'm repeating my mantra "be patient be patient be patient". You guessed it: I'm injured! It comes with the territory of frequent exercises and running but it's always such a challenge to stay patient and fully heal.
I've been running and working out since I was 14 years old. I've coped with injuries due to my athletic and active lifestyle but for the most part I've been lucky. However, whenever I get an injury one of the hardest parts of the recovery process is staying just as disciplined with healing as I do with working out. I often get off the wagon too soon and reinjure myself. I find that it is important to have a support team and good music to see you through your injury. I like to make myself playlists with songs that force me to slow down and stretch while also motivating me to look forward to full recovery and making my comeback! Here's what I've been listening to lately that you can stream on Spotify here or right below:
Aside from the loyal support of my parents who patiently listen to me discuss my aches and pains ad nauseam, I also get amazing physical therapy that borders on psychotherapy from Paul-Ryan Mariano. He has been a physical therapist assistant practicing for over 7 years. He specializes in sports-related injuries and he is also a running specialist/trainer at Central Park Physical Therapy in New York City. So that you can put a face to the man, this is Paul-Ryan Mariano pictured below:
After I stopped by his office the other day for him to work on my injured hamstring, I asked him a couple of questions about injuries, healing and music to share with my Musique readers who may be going through the same thing.
Common Injuries and Over exercising
Paul-Ryan finds that fitness lovers most commonly injure their knees, hips and ankles and weight lifters often suffer from shoulder and neck problems. He firmly believes that his patients generally tend to over exercise and he stands behind the philosophy that one should not work out more than 4 times a week.
The Recovery Process Outside of the Office
Although Paul-Ryan admits that every case is different, he believes that the recovery process outside of the PT office requires nothing but rest and laying off of activities that could either reinjure you or inhibit the healing process and progress. (Note: That's of course my toughest challenge when waiting to heal right now!)
Adjusting to Injuries When Training
Paul-Ryan is training for the New York City Half Marathon in March so I asked him for some tips on how to adjust to various pains and injuries when training for a specific race. He actually believes that there is no "adjusting to an injury or pain when training". In fact, his advice is that your ailment should be your absolute priority even if you have to forget the race. He agrees that you can probably work through an injury but he thinks that 99.9% of the time it's a bad idea:
I'm a big believer that it's better being safe than sorry. Most of my clients and I don't have the luxury of time and money to have a medical staff monitoring you 24-7 like most celebrities and professional athletes. You're just gambling with your own body otherwise. I'm not getting paid to be out there running, so my body comes first. Why place a burden on your life with an injury for recreational sports purposes? Leave your ego at the door, stop exercising and get it checked out!
Music and Exercising
Paul-Ryan doesn't listen to music when he runs because it allows him to better focus on his running. When he works out at the gym he plays jazz because he's not into crazy 'pump up' work-out music since working out for him is "always meditative". He finds that there are so many places within jazz music where you can speed up your work out, slow down, hold, control, jump, stretch, breathe, relax, decompress and recompresss.
Even though Paul-Ryan doesn't prefer music with his workouts, he shared a really funny physical therapy themed playlist that I thought you would enjoy! You can listen to it here or below on Spotify.
So here's to a FULL recovery of my injured hamstring and whatever ailments my Musique readers are coping with these days!
How do YOU handle the recovery process and not being able to work out at 100% at the gym?
Please share your thoughts and comment below. I'd love for all of us to help each other recover faster and smarter!