How can anyone possibly exercise too much?!?
Well I for one am definitely guilty as charged. My visits to the gym have admittedly become a little too frequent. Exercise is ‘good’ for us, so more exercise must be extra good right? No. Wrong. So wrong.
Unfortunately, I’ve learnt this lesson the hard way. So I thought I’d share it with you all and maybe stop some of you doing the same. In summary: it wasn’t unusual for me to train twice a day over the summer…. Fast forward to now; and I’m currently in recovery for having a shoulder injury. I am still in pain and haven’t done a full upper body workout since August. Lesson learned J. Nice one.
Too much of a good thing?
Overtraining is not good. Plain and simple. Push your body to its limits, yes, challenge yourself, yes. But let it recover. It’s begging and pleading on its knees, quite literally, for some of you (me included) for a rest so just let it!! I completely understand it can become addictive. I have been there too. The mental and physiological benefits are so substantial you just need your ‘fix’ right?
You see results and you want more. It can become an addictive behaviour. Hence you train more, expecting better results. Unfortunately there is a point at which your body can’t take any more. You have to be patient and learn to rest and recover. Telling yourself ‘how can wanting to be ‘healthy’ be bad?’, does not make it any better. Muscle dysmorphia and disordered eating are sadly very real conditions and can seriously impact an individuals mental and physical health. Remember, everything in moderation and balance. Surprisingly, you can have too much of a ‘good’ thing.
I may just be writing this post as a reminder to myself that I need to take a rest day. A REAL rest day. I’m going to have one so I’d suggest you do too!!
If like me, going to the gym or exercising is your ‘time out’ or ‘me time’ for the day you can still go. I’d suggest low impact/intensity cardio i.e. cross trainer, elliptical or incline treadmill walking. This still increases your heart rate for cardiovascular health but is gentle on your body and can be seen as active recovery. Also stretching, foam rolling, mobility exercises, pilates or yoga are great for recovering so try them too!!!! They increase blood flow to muscles and help stretch the muscle fibres to give full range of motion, helping to prevent future injuries. Something no one wants. They can also help with reducing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and if you’ve experienced them you know the pain!
Simple. Schedule your recovery session like a planned workout. It is just as important as working out, so make it a priority!
Love J xox