Are you even ready to start training or exercising at the gym?
A lot of people think the only way to make progress in a gym whether it be to lose weight, get stronger or become fitter is to hammer your body to a pulp everytime. In this blog I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of doing so.
**Spoiler alert** I don’t think doing so is sustainable and in the long run will not bring about many benefits, maybe a few injuries and poor sleep to name a few things.
What is it?
Well basically are you ready to start exercising?
Now before you answer it’s more than just thinking ‘well my knees feel ok,’ or ‘I’m too tired.’ The theory is that if you’re not properly recovered from your last exercise session you will be putting additional stress on the body that it may not be ready for.
Exercise is a stress on our bodies and we have to take time to recover.
The immune system is said to play a huge role in the recovery process and so if you give 100% to a workout on the treadmill on Monday and then by Tuesday go again and give your everything, however the body might only be recovered to 80%. Wednesday comes around and same again but your body has only just caught up from Monday’s session and hasn’t even started to recover from Tuesday. So now it’s constantly playing catch up. This weakens the immune system and will lead to illness such as colds, sore throats and throat infections to name a few.
It isn’t just the immune system that is hampered as well. In our bodies we have these things called tendons they might look like bones, look on the back of your heel that’s called your achilles tendon. When we aren’t recovering and are exercising too intensely, too frequently these can become weakened. I have such bad pain that I couldn’t put any weight on my foot for 4 days.
Are you mentally ready?
I don’t like to just have people come to see me and only talk about training and nutrition. At the end of the day people come to me to get a result. If they’re thinking about their mum being ill with covid or they’re going through a tough time with mental health, this in itself is stressful. When we get stressed we produce a hormone called cortisol, this speeds up digestion, it can even keep us awake and affects the immune system (as mentioned before the immune system is important). If clients have something going on and they only put in 50% effort to what I’m asking them to do they will only get 50% results of what they could, at best.
There has to be different levels of intensity and defining what you are doing
Different forms of exercise can keep the body guessing and won’t solely stress the body out
The benefit of being a part of Mind Strong is that it is all planned under the guidance of an experienced coach
Different types of exercise stress the body in different ways.
What I mean by this is obviously some types of exercise are more intense and some will burn more energy than others. Take going for a 10km run, doing a deep clean and a weight training session. All stress the body in their own right.
Say you’re doing a deep clean of your flat, house or whatever; moving everything to get into dust and lugging a vac around and on top of that most people will be looking after a kid or a dog whilst doing so.This could be considered exercise. You are up moving things, up and down stairs but it’s just not as intense as a run or going to the gym so it tends to be forgotten about.
Big runs are tough on the body and burn a lot of energy and typically people seem to think these are the only way to lose weight or get fit but most over do it.
A lot of people set the goal of ‘toning’ and hit the weights so hard they can’t move for days.
Over doing it means you cause so much stress on the body it struggles to recover and can make you ill.
When advising clients how to structure their exercise I suggest little cardio, weight training to be regular and recovery to be the priority.
If you’re aching, you may not be ready to train.
If you’re nursing an injury, definitely not ready to train, least of all that body part.
If you’re not getting enough sleep and waking up feeling tired, probably not ready to train and would get more from a better sleep.
There is a few things you can do to speed up recovery.
Foam rolling - known for reducing inflammation, reducing pain and muscle ache and even helping sleeping patterns.
Meditation - helps reducing stress, keeping inflammation low and helping sleeping patterns. Here I wrote about some of the different types of meditation.
Nutrition - makes or breaks your results.