PSA FOR ALL FIT FREAKS! Are you taking enough time OFF?
Recovery is just as important as what you do IN the gym. But no matter how much we ‘know’ this, many people consistently spend hours and hours in the gym because it “feels” right. It’s psychological. A dependence. Fitness CAN be addictive, but it’s important that we learn how to overcome these psychological barriers to live happier, healthier and injury free lives. Outside of the gym.
Recovery is THE reason we get fitter and stronger. It’s during this time that your muscles rebuild stronger, where your body puts your workout to use and where you’ll reap the benefits.
I like to think of it as making bread. You can knead the dough as much as you like, but unless you STOP and let it rise, your bread is gonna SUCK. The kneading is important, but the “rising” on it’s own is what makes the bread awesome. Rest is your ‘rising’ time.While SOME activity is better than NONE, TOO MUCH activity can be worse than none at all. Heart problems, insomnia, illness, weight gain, injury, depression: all symptoms and consequences of hitting it too hard and too often at the gym.SIGNS OF OVERTRAINING (and/or fitness addiction).
1. A decrease in performance. If you’re training hard and you notice that you just aren’t able to do what you know you CAN DO (having to reduce your weights, not being able to finish a set, needing to take more breaks etc), it might be a sign that your muscles have not gotten enough recovery time.
2. Problems sleeping, decrease in overall energy, mood swings etc. Workouts generally should BOOST your energy and mood. If the days seem ‘harder’ it might be a sign you need to take a step back. Depression can be a symptom of overtraining as well.
3. Feeling that unless your workout is 2 hours long, it doesn’t count. The truth is, there is ONLY so much you can push your body. After a certain amount of time, it releases chemicals and begins processes to minimize damage… NOT to help you get stronger, fitter or better. 2 hours a day in the gym is too much. Psychologically, this is a barrier a lot of people get stuck behind. Often, beginners are encouraged to workout for long periods of time, but at a VERY LOW intensity. The higher the intensity, the shorter your workout can be. Work to limit your workouts to an hour or less, take less breaks, and boost your intensity instead.
some very sound advice that I need to keep in mind, especially given my recent fixation with not giving my body a break when I was at Rawai, before finally remembering what I’d learned from my coaches at OUABC about taking care of and listening to my body.
am still dealing with some jetlag and fatigue from the crazy unpacking spree I went through, and also traveling immediately the day after and walking a helluva lot. will get back on track tomorrow, and possibly do two days’ worth instead of one. (possibly a questionable decision to make, but definitely going back to finishing the last 6 days tomorrow!)
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