I never thought I would write a post about doing LESS exercise but it’s happening. There is a time and place for everything. We need to make sure that we are listening to our bodies and interpreting the signs and signals that its sending us for optimal health and fitness.
Remember what it feels like when you have a cold coming on? You feel a tickle in the back of your throat. You maybe have a slight headache or start sneezing more. You connect the dots and realize that you are coming down with a cold and you make adjustments to take it easy and slow down so your body can recover. Same with the flu or other viruses that we are exposed to. We tend to slow down when we feel those symptoms come on but that’s not what we do when we are healthy and exercising. In fact, I’d argue that sometimes we push ourselves so we are more susceptible to those germs that will put us on the sideline for awhile. And, if the truth be told, we tend to keep our level of activities going throughout each decade, never changing our rhythm, ignoring our body signals that are trying to tell us to take a break and eventually, having a health moment that puts us out of commission for awhile.
Have you ever continuing running through that pain in your knee or quad? Have you pushed yourself to finish an aerobics class even when you feel that cold coming on? Do you tell yourself just one more rep before you collapse on the floor?
If that’s you then it’s time to think about what your body is telling you for optimal health. Many times we push ourselves beyond what we should and end up depleting our energy reserves and increasing our chances for sickness, muscle strains and tears and a variety of injuries that could have been avoided. I encourage you to think of functional fitness and re-think your fitness activities to train your body for optimal health and fitness in each decade of your life. What do you need to be able to do? Reaching, squatting, lifting, holding, walking, etc….are all activities we need to be able to continue to do. Working our muscles with our own body weight is an excellent way to get in shape and stay in shape. Overdoing with heavy weights can increase your chances of muscle tears and strains that weaken the ligaments and place you in harms way for future injuries.
So as you go into Fall, the upcoming Holidays, the cold winter months (if you live somewhere cold) and back to school if you are a student or teacher – remember to listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs. It will tell you when to stop. It will tell you when to rest. It will tell you when to push yourself. Listen. Be smart. Be healthy. Be fit. Peace.