I love Carla’s approach to exercise.
Fitting it in around life as opposed to letting it take centre stage. Figuring out what HER body needs to stay fit and healthy. Consistently making movement a priority. Finding that perfect balance between not doing enough and doing too much.
Her approach embodies what I (after learning the hard way…) strive to teach my personal training clients;
‘Be your own detective’. Pay attention to how your body responds to exercise and adjust the frequency, intensity and format of your workouts until you start seeing the results you want. Start slow, set yourself up for success and figure out the least amount of work you need to do to make noticeable progress towards your health and fitness goals.
I’m aware that this approach flies in the face of what we all see daily on social media. “Killer” Pinterest workouts. “No pain, no gain” fitspo photos. #2aday Tweets. “What’s your excuse?” T-shirts.
All of which encourage us to exercise longer, harder and more frequently than is necessary to achieve health, happiness and improved fitness.
But how much is too much? How can you tell if you’ve fallen victim to the ‘more is better’ campaign?
1. You’ve stopped moving towards your health and fitness goals. Despite longer and more frequent sessions at the gym, you’re no longer losing weight or increasing the size and strength of your muscles. Worst case scenario? You may actually gain back the weight you’ve lost and/or regress on your lifts.
2. You’re physically tired. All. The. Time. Remember how exercise used to invigorate you? How it gave you energy to get through the rest of your busy day? Too much exercise can have the opposite effect as your body conserves energy in an attempt to repair and regenerate itself between workouts.
3. You’re injured more often. While mild aches and pains are to be expected whenever we push our bodies to do things they’re not used to doing, frequent and repeated injuries are an indication that you’re not giving your body enough time to rest between workouts. Frequent sprains, strains, bouts of tendonitis and other repetitive strain injuries are sure signs that you need to reduce the frequency and intensity of your workouts.
4. You’ve stopped enjoying working out. Remember when you used to look forward to your workouts? You enjoyed the feeling of pushing yourself and accomplishing a challenging task? While you’re still hitting the gym frequently, exercise has become a slog. You push through because you’re worried about what will happen if you stop.
- Have you ever experienced any of the above symptoms of overtraining?
- How long did you resist your body’s ‘do less’ message?