HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH AT THE GYM?
I am surrounded by folks every day, both in person and online, who are sporty. Some are CrossFitters but many do a variety of other sports, including home workouts. It’s fantastic to see and very inspiring!
I also spend a lot of time looking at behaviours, habits and how this affects a persons overall health within my job. We can all see how a bad habit, such as smoking, affects a persons health in a negative manner. No one can deny that. But what happens when you suspect that a persons seemingly good and healthy habit is cause for concern. That their fitness habit is just too much.
For this weeks 5 top tips on a Tuesday I want to get you thinking about your own personal fitness and whether or not it delves into the ‘too much’ category.
First and foremost we have to realise that one persons ‘too much’ will differ to another. You may need more time off during the week, you may have other stressors in your life, this person you compare yourself too may come from a sports background and so on and so forth. You need to focus on what is right for you and not compare yourself to another. It’s perfectly fine to need more time off. It’s perfectly fine to have other priorities. Just because someone in your gym or on Instagram works out 5 times a week does not mean they are at peak physical health nor does it mean you should work out to those time frames too.
Read your warning signs
Feeling sluggish throughout the day? Constant muscle soreness? Never quite catching up with sleep? Coffee and alcohol your best friend? Getting injury after injury? These are your warning signs. No, it’s not right to always be sore or tired. That’s not why you workout, you workout to be healthy. And if your not feeling healthy then maybe it’s time to reflect on what you do at the gym and take a step back. Sleep, stress, diet and the relationships you have in your life are other areas that require constant attention and reflection.
Love those endorphins? Love being with your gym friends and sweating together? Feel like you miss out or yearn for it if you can’t make it? Maybe a little too much? We all laugh about FOMO (fear of missing out) but what is it your body actually needs. Another killer workout? Or do you actually just need a big dose of happiness and company? This is a big area that’s complex enough for me to write many posts on but just take a moment to check in with your why. Maybe call up your gym friend and ask if they want to go for a walk and a coffee instead of heading to the gym. Question your motives.
Does the thought of scaling a workout send shivers down your spine? Is it all or nothing – but actually always ‘all’ and never ‘nothing’? If that’s you, you will know exactly what I mean by that. I have taught myself, after 4 years doing CrossFit, that sometimes the best thing for me is to simply turn up and move. I scale the heck out of the workout and just enjoy moving my body without going to extreme. Do you check in with your body before every workout? And more importantly, do you listen to what it is telling you?
Do you take time for rest?
Ah rest, remember that old chestnut? No? Then maybe you should be thinking twice. I like a routine and that’s why I factor in rest days during the week. Actual rest days – aka just walking, no more. Your body needs to rest and restore, build the muscle you want it to build, catch up on sleep. It can’t do that unless you give it some time. How many rest days do you need? Well that’s up to you and your lifestyle. If the only stress you have in your life is your training then maybe you can get away with less, but if your job, family etc give you any form of stressor then adding exercise to the mix on a daily basis will not help.
Check in with your body and listen to what it is telling you – are you doing too much?