Maintaining Motivation Through Injury

LEAN Ambassador Sarah Donohue's blog


Maintaining motivation when you are injured may seem tough, but it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing is your diet because you aren’t able to burn off those calories, neither are you able to fully utilise that muscle you carry.

Your injury may be major or minor, it could last only a week or it could stretch to months, but regardless you must maintain a good diet which is even more important as your body is trying to mend itself.

gym injury

Take this time not to be upset that you are unable to do your normal routine, but depending on your injury does depend what you can and can't do but do remember that doing anything initially could have a negative effect, so first rely on friends and family for support.

Injury is a tough subject because of injury levels, but if we take a regular fracture which is an average of 6 weeks in a cast, then leave it well alone. I walked on a fractured ankle after 3 weeks and extended my inability to train for another 6 weeks.


Always remember your passion for sport and training

You will get some muscle wastage, but muscle has memory and the better your diet the easier it will be to get back to where you left off. Make sure you get enough protein as your muscles still need feeding so LEAN Whey Protein is a perfect addition.

Never ignore rehab it’s great for hitting the smaller muscles in the surrounding areas of the injury often making you even stronger on your return.

Can you swim? If so, this is a great form of exercise and even if you need to use a floatation device, swimming will still work areas you are not used to working. If possible also work other areas such as your glutes and abs, then your core is key to your whole being and many people have a weak core.

Most people don’t even think of the neck but it's one of the key weak places. I know this from being a powerboat racer. The neck is a key thing for women to train and you can use a neck brace for this. Women have weak necks and this can cause issues with upper back pain so get this strengthened when you can’t do anything else.

The forearms and wrists. So many people wear straps, if you are one of them try and get out of this habit. Train your forearms to keep your grip tight. Strengthen the bits you overlook. My grip is probably stronger than most men’s but then again I raced offshore powerboats for almost 20 years so it had to be.

I know that as an athlete on stage or showing off on a Saturday night you want the main muscle groups looking great and if you strengthen everything else, when you eventually get back to training you will find that many exercises become easier and you will get less aches and pains over time and better development. A lot of little things add up to major things and it’s about training every inch.

You can also learn many new techniques, diets and recipes online. Maybe even do a couple of online courses such as nutrition or a kettlebell course at 

The most important thing is not to let it get you down. I am talking from experience of severe racing accidents and even being on a life-support machine and having titanium plates fitted. I have spent more time in more hospitals worldwide than I care to remember. I had friends and family to keep me sane and I focused on the areas I could train and researched how to get the most from those areas. Yes of course it had a frustrating effect on me because I love training but muscle has memory and on recovery I became fitter and stronger. Just don’t take frustration out on friends and family. They all want to help.


Sarah Donohue is LEAN Nutrition's head ambassador. With experience as former body double to Angelina Jolie and as a former stuntwoman in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, Sarah understands the importance of nutrition and caring for your body to achieve results.



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