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Don't let an injury stop your workout

March 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Like many Americans, Aury Wallington started the new year off with a resolution to lose weight."I sort of burst out of the gate so I am halfway to my goal," said Wallington.

Wallington, who is keeping a yearlong weight loss diary for Shape Magazine, wants to lose 80 pounds. Working with a dietitian and trainer, she lost 46 pounds, more than halfway to her goal, by cleaning up her diet and working out hard.

"I've been working out six days a week, I've been lifting weights, and running and doing kick boxing," said Wallington.

But despite her trainer's advice, Wallington's overzealous fitness program landed her on the injured list.

"Being of the 'more is more' school, I didn't rest and I ended up hurting my ankle," said Wallington.

So trainer Lauren Kern took the challenge. She says they replaced leg exercises with high-endurance upper body and abdominal exercises, then slowly returned to cardio, starting with cycling.

"She worked her way on to the elliptical and now we've got her back on the treadmill doing 10-minute intervals of jogging and we get back on to her 10K program next week," said Kern.

Of course exercise is only half the equation. Not only does being injured bring forth feelings of disappointment, but the issue of diet brings on even more of challenge when you're appetite is going strong, even when you're not.

Dietitian Ashley Koff warns that severe calorie restriction is common, yet foolish.

"The first thing you're going to start losing if you starve yourself is your lean body mass," said Koff.

This would inevitably halt Wallington's progress.

"In addition to the weight loss, we've seen really great body composition changes," said Koff. "So she's built muscle, we have to feed that muscle, making sure she's eating small amounts about every three hours, as opposed to having those larger eating occasions."

Making sure to eat bone-mending food -- and that means more than just calcium. Koff suggests whole grains, nuts and seeds, salmon and produce, which all offer good sources of vitamin D, K and micronutrients that assist absorption.

"What's really important right now is to focus on 'How do I get myself better, not taking any short cuts so that I'm able to get back to that exercise,'" said Koff.

Which Kern reiterates doesn't have to mean cardio.

"Anything that causes a muscular contraction is going to help to burn calories, and weights do that just as well as cardio does," adds Kern.


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