Let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to make it to the next olympics. Neither am I and I’ve had to come to terms with this too:-)
But in all seriousness, why do you exercise? I know I exercise to:
- To feel stronger
- To feel fit
- To maintain my health (physically, mentally, emotionally)
- To learn new skills
- Remain flexible
The above are just some of the reasons, but non of them involve needing to push myself to an extent that I will damage tissues and cause injury or get excessively tired.
It may be the case that as a professional athlete you need to extract every last ounce of performance from every aspect of your being to beat the competition, but that’s not why most people exercise.
Therefore if your goals are anything like my list, you may want to step away from the popular, ego boosting, headline making exercise fads and move to a place of balance, improved health and importantly enjoyment.
We don’t need to try and kill ourselves to get fit and healthy, we need to provide just enough stress that the body adapts but not so much so that it creates more than we can recover from at this time.
So when does exercise become bad for you? Exercise starts to lose it’s benefits when you are:
1 – No longer enjoying it and you do it because you “have to” – if what motivates you to do exercise is the fear of getting fat, suffering a heart attack or not being able to move adequately to prevent pain, you may be doing the wrong type of exercise for you.
Just because someone says HIIT sessions are the bees knees doesn’t mean they are right for you. Pick something that you are going to look forward to doing and do it regularly (the world health organisation recommends at least 20 minutes per day)
2 – You’re waking up tired – if you’re tired because you trained hard the day before or you are about to train and you are already tired, STOP and think about it. Your poor adrenal glands (the gland that pumps out adrenaline that sits on top of the kidney) are already struggling to cope. If that is the case it’s not a case of “man up and just get on with it”. It’s time to slow down and replenish energy (chi) instead.
The general rule is the faster your body moves the more chi you expend and the slower you move (whilst still actually moving) the more chi you can build. (Think slow tai chi)
So instead of going to the extremes which is often the case (stop, go home and vegetate in front of the TV with a glass of wine OR “man up” and crush the workout anyway) why not exercise doing exactly the same movements you would do, but at breathing pace?
For example – when working with clients I screen them prior to each movement session using something I developed called the body bank calculator. It tells us how much “credit” we have for that day and whether we need to go hard, moderate or easy.
If the body is slightly on the stressed/low chi side we will complete the same exercises (push up, bent over row and body weight squat for example) but all at breathing pace.
The breathing is vital to this type of movement – Breathe out as the body goes towards the foetal position (knees to chest) and in as it moves away from the foetal position. (think arms and legs out stretched)
This way you move the cells of the body which creates piso electricity and charges your chi reserves, but also balances the body-mind (the body and mind are the same thing you can’t separate them)
You may have started feeling tired but leave feeling refreshed.
HOWEVER, you’ll be a completely different type of refreshed. Not buzzing on adrenaline having “smashed” your workout but a grounded, calm and vitalised kind of refreshed.
I would LOVE to talk to you more about this concept as I’m very passionate about it.
Let me know if you’d like to be part of a webinar on this topic in the near future if it’s peaks your interest too.