After Kelly Osbourne went on Dancing with the Stars, something just clicked. The TV personality—she's currently on E!'s Fashion Police—embraced working out and healthy eating. Kelly lost 50 pounds and revealed her new bikini body on the December issue of SHAPE (see Kelly's full story here).
Her hard work obviously paid off, but it also took a serious toll on Kelly's feet, aggravating a condition that she's had for years. Now, the 26-year-old needs major surgery on both of her feet. Kelly won't be able to walk for a month, much less continue doing her high-intensity workout routine (but you can try it to transform your body! Get the details here). The question on everyone's mind: How will Kelly maintain her newly slimmed-down figure? "An injury doesn't have to mean giving up," says Neal Pire, an American College of Sports Medicine fellow and president of InsPire Training. "It means you have to change your game and rethink your strategy."
You may not ever need major foot surgery like Kelly Osbourne, but everyone is at risk for injury (we're just being honest). And that's why we asked Pire to share his top five strategies for staying fit and keeping your weight down when you're dealing with an injury.
Stay Fit Tip #1: Change Up Your Cardio
Some injuries rule out the option of cardio workouts altogether, but you can find a way to burn calories if you're open to exploring new options. For example, swap your regular run for non-weight bearing workouts like the bike—upright or recumbent. Or try using only the upper-body component of an elliptical machine. This helps maintain a degree of stamina and builds up neglected muscle groups, which may protect against future injuries.
Stay Fit Tip #2: Get Wet
If your injury leaves you unable to do any land-based workout, Pire recommends finding a pool and giving lap swimming, aqua aerobics or water running a try. Water is a very forgiving yet very effective training environment. It buoys more than 90 percent of your body weight while providing resistance in every direction you move. Most people can tolerate an intense water workout without causing further damage.
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Stay Fit Tip #3: Focus on Other Fitness Goals
Pire points out that a lot of people slack off on their weight training and stretching routines in favor of cardio so an injury can be a good opportunity to beef up your strength and stretch out your joints. Pumping iron is a good calorie burner in its own right, plus both strength training and stretching moves can help speed recovery and prevent injury in the future.
Stay Fit Tip #4: Watch Those Calories
When you aren't burning off as many calories, you shouldn't take in as many calories either. Anytime you're forced to cut back on working out, pay close attention to your eating habits. Pire advises using a food diary to keep your calories in check.
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Stay Fit Tip #5: Assess the Problem
Figure out why you're injured in the first place. Was it overtraining? Poor skills? Muscle imbalances? It helps to know what really caused your injury and then take whatever steps necessary to ensure it doesn't happen again. Consider consulting with a personal trainer, physical therapist or an orthopedist to help plot an exercise makeover. And when you're finally ready to get back to it, don't go full tilt; start slowly and ease your way back to where you were.