There is a fine line when it comes to challenging yourself versus overdoing it. In a world with very high expectation, some can over do it due to the pressure society puts on us or the pressure we put on ourselves. When it comes to being “in shape” our expectation can be unrealistic. Yes, we all know that it is important to stay physically active but how can someone know if they are going too far? How can you give yourself a break with out feeling guilty.

First of all, it is extremely important that we honor our bodies and celebrate diversity. As cliché as it sounds, beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. it is also important to remember that working harder doesn’t necessarily mean working smarter. Whether it is working out or working on something at work, not resting when needed can put you in a counter productive position.

For example, one of the most common things I see as yoga instructor is people over doing their work out. They will do multiple classes a day maybe do the gym before or after and to top it off they will skip out on Deep Stretch and Relaxation class. This is followed by a number of negative out commons.

  1. Injury. When participating in 2 high impact and intensity classes per day, the muscles fatigue in a negative way. Rather than staying for multiple classes. Do one really good one. This MUST be followed up with stretching. I highly recommend taking a Deep Stretch and Relaxation class a few times a week. This will balance out the body giving you a better chance at maintaining a good workout routine. The number one cause of injury is over use.
  2. Sickness. If you feel lethargic, can’t sleep at night, not able to wake up in the morning, have a short temper or no appetite these are all signs you are overdoing it. Your body is depleted of nutrient as it can’t keep up with what you are exerting. Your body recovers when is resting. If you are someone who is very active, I would recommend seeing a doctor or naturopath to put together a meal plan and find a multi vitamin to make sure your body does not lose important nutrient, that aid in fighting off illness.
  3. Boredom. Have you even had meal that was just your favorite, so you ate it almost every day for a year, then you back so sick of it you couldn’t stand the thought of it anymore? This is a sign your overdoing it too. So switch up your routine. Incorporate a variety of classes to change things up. Mix in some less strenuous activities, especially outdoor activities. Walking, hiking, biking, causal outdoor sports are all good options to do to keep your routine fresh and new.

One good challenging workout is all you need. If you find you have plateaued, this is a sign you need to take things up a level. Example is using heavier weights, doing more reps, taking more level 3 and 4 options. High intensity interval training, you are working your fast-twitch fibers, which takes about 48 hours to heal. This is twice as long as slower paced exercise that usually heal in one day. Doing multiple classes is not recommended. If you like more physical activity in the day break things up and add less intense exercises in small portions throughout the day. Go for a light walk at your lunch break or an evening stroll.

Challenge yourself and pushing your fitness level has its benefits. Always listen to your body. If you feel like you aren’t getting enough from your workout, ask an instructor or a trainer how you can increase the intensity. Get plenty of rest and always replenish your body with healthy meals and lots of water.

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