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Finding Balance

October 4, 2018

Finding Balance

October 4, 2018

Sometimes it’s really hard to know the difference between testing your boundaries and rejecting them completely. Bombarded by messages of achieving the impossible and smashing our comfort zone, it can be a bit difficult to figure out the difference between listening to your body versus cheating yourself out of a proper sweat session. Here are some ways to shift your perspective on your fitness journey:

No pain, no gain
Well, yes and no. Discomfort during a workout is okay and means you are challenging yourself, but outright pain is usually a sign that you could be injuring yourself or are about to do so. Delayed muscle soreness after a workout is normal, but shouldn’t be chronic.

Recognize the signs of fatigue
Overtraining is a thing. Exercise should boost you, not drag you down. Fatigue can cause depression, affect your sleep and mood, just to name a few. Mix up the intensity of your routine, perhaps with a HIIT workout one day and a restorative yoga class the next day. And a rest day never hurt anyone; if that’s what your body is begging for, listen!

Speaking of rest days…
A recovery day isn’t the same as a cheat day. Listening to your body also means knowing to take care of what you eat and still move it around on your days off.

Cut the self-doubt
It’s not a character flaw to take it slower some days. It doesn’t make you weak to acknowledge when your workout schedule is making you miserable. There is something beautiful about starting to understand your body well enough that you can read the signs of when it has simply had enough. Challenging yourself is great, but don’t let shame colour your dialogue with your body. If you start to notice that you are dreading stepping into the gym, consider choosing a workout that you actually enjoy— personalize your fitness path to suit your individual needs!

Proper form execution
Are you so exhausted that your final set of push-ups is done with a swayback and floppy elbows? Consider giving it a break. Quality over quantity can go a long way to properly developing your muscles, and avoiding an injury.

Incorporate health and fitness
Health is a never ending process and the more positive reinforcement you give yourself, the better off you will be. While it’s good to have goals that you can work towards, sometimes it becomes too easy to get trapped in a cycle of constant discontent with yourself in the moment. Make your goals achievable and don’t be afraid to start small with baby steps, especially if you are still struggling to find a workout routine that fits you. Focus on how training makes you feel, and the strength you gain (both inside and outside) as you progress, rather than your flaws or what you dislike about your body!

Bottom Line: Fitness is a lifelong journey. In the long run, creating a healthy relationship with your nutrition and exercise will let you sustain a steady training program, instead of stopping and starting in bursts and then beating yourself up for it. Continuously nudging your boundaries is important to allow yourself room to grow, but be kind about it!

Image by iStock/gregepeppers


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