Fitness and healthy habits are a lifestyle. When it comes to exercise, sometimes too little is better than too much. Exercise isn’t a punishment, instead exercise should be a celebration of movement.
If 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity is healthy then is 60 minutes a day twice as good? Is 2 hours (120 minutes) a day 4 times as good? How do you know when you should you sweat it out or get some rest instead?
Exercise is a good thing, but excessive exercise is not and can lead to injuries and exhaustion, among other more serious issues.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overdoing a workout. How many times have you heard a trainer say things like ‘no pain no gain’ or that you should exercise until you feel your heart in your throat or until you feel sick. I’ve heard all of those cliches so many times I’ve lost count.
It was such a breakthrough the first time that I heard a trainer encourage a class to under exert and not over exert.
Since then I’ve found more trainers who preach consistency over grueling punishment. That not every workout has to feel like it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Not every run needs to a personal record.
For me, in the past, pushing myself in each workout quickly led to burnout, exhaustion, and injury. I wanted the 6 week results promised in the advertising so I threw myself into punishing exercises. But when workouts aren’t fun and don’t bring any joy it’s certainly hard to keep them up.
I’ve found a combination of strength and cardio workouts that motivate me, give me energy, and boost my mood. But it was scaling back my efforts that brought me to that point.
And, when I’m tired, I rest. If I skip a workout, I skip a workout. I’m a person who likes a schedule, but I’m also one who is learning to better listen to her body. Exercise isn’t a punishment.
Exercise is taking time for ourselves. Exercise is a celebration of movement.