Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Too Much of a Good Thing?

I am SORE. I'm teaching 9 classes this week, because I can't say no and tend to over-commit. I keep telling myself to pace, PACE. Very important for fitness instructors. Sometimes, we can't go all out, but we can encourage our participants to! :)

I taught a Zumba class on Monday morning and then immediately went grocery shopping right afterward. Ugh.

I imagine that hell is an endless abyss of grocery store full of kids throwing temper tantrums and people writing checks to pay for groceries; every aisle packed with indecisive shoppers, and carts in the middle of the aisle so that you can't get through. In this hell store, you can't find anything you need for your recipe and everything has been "day before Christmas" picked over. When and if you do finally find and get to the check out, Satan the Cashier says that your debit card and credit cards were declined and you are forced to put all of your groceries back. That process repeats for eternity.

 Annnnnyway... enough fiction for one post...

Came home and did 4 hours of yard work. Being that this is our first house, the amount of yard work seems daunting, but I'll get used to it I'm sure.

Anything so that I can get this view everyday.

Freshly mowed grass!
 
Made a quick dinner of some angel hair with spicy arribiata sauce (courtesy of chef Wolfgang Puck-god bless sauce in jars). I threw in some Boca Crumbles for protein and veggies on the side.

Plate + Face = NOMS


The soreness I'm feeling this morning got me thinking about too much of a good thing: over-exercising, sometimes referred to overtraining. I used to teach 8 classes a week but then I cut back to 5. Within two weeks I noticed a difference in my mood and health. I was over training my body...and it was crippling me! 

Signs that you may be overtraining (according to the American Council on Exercise):
  • Agitation, moodiness, irritability or lack of concentration. Too much exercise and too little rest can wreak havoc on the hormones and cause mood swings and an inability to concentrate. 
  • Excessive fatigue and malaise. A body that never has a chance to fully recover from a previous workout will continue to feel more and more fatigued. Some people describe this feeling as "heavy legs." 
  • Increased perceived effort during normal workouts. Overtraining takes a toll on the body, and workouts that were once a breeze can begin to feel like a grind. Chronic or nagging muscle aches or joint pain. Overused muscles and joints can cause constant aches, which may go unnoticed until the body is given proper rest. 
  • More frequent illnesses and upper-respiratory infections. Too much exercise taxes all of the body's systems and makes it more difficult to ward off infections. (*NOTE: I can attest to this one--I've gotten FOUR upper resp infections in six months. Again, side effect of overtraining)
  • Insomnia or restless sleep. During sleep the body has time to rest and repair itself. An overtrained body, however, is sometimes unable to slow down and completely relax, making it difficult to recover between workouts. 
  • Loss of appetite. Overtraining can cause an increase in hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine that tend to inhibit appetite. The physical exhaustion and anxiety that often comes with overtraining can also have the same effect. 
  • Chronically elevated heart rate at rest and during exercise. A clear sign of an overworked heart muscle is a chronically elevated heart rate. Also, people who overtrain will often find that it takes longer for their heart rate to return to normal after a workout. 
  • Menstrual cycle disturbances in women. Exercising excessively and not consuming enough calories may disrupt a woman's menstrual cycle. While some may experience irregular periods, others will stop menstruating altogether.

My husband, giving my dogs a pep talk about proper lifting techniques and rest :)

Now, overtraining is NOT to be confused with exercise bulimia. Exercise bulimia is hard to spot because exercise is generally viewed by society as "good," and athletes and marathon runners train for hours a day. Still, there is a difference between healthful and harmful behavior.

As a fitness professional, I sadly see a lot of people slip into this. They lose a lot of weight and then start becoming compulsive about their workouts, for fear of weight gain. They lose too much weight and start losing muscle and coordination. They are doing serious damage to their body. As someone who used to have exercise bulimia, I can't stress to you enough to look for the signs and SPEAK UP.

I remember one time I was mid-three-hour workout at the gym and a man approached me and said, "I see you in here everyday. You look terrible and you should really go home and get some rest. Stop doing this to yourself." At the time, I was MORTIFIED and upset. How rude! In retrospect, that man probably saved my life because not even two weeks later, I broke down and sought help.

Some signs of exercise bulimia:
  • Missing or skipping out on work or social events to work out
  • Working out for hours (3 or more) at a time or over the course of a day
  • Not taking rest days
  • Becoming seriously depressed, moody or irritable if you can't work out
  • Working out when sick or injured
  • Overly focused on appearance
  • Overly self-critical
  • Isolating self from others when working out
  • Develops a pattern of exercise or a careful routine (OCD workouts)
  • Overly extreme during workouts

Do your body a favor and don't overdo it. 

Some things you could do instead of working out: a million

Things you can recover after you have damaged your body permanently: very few

Beaufort prefers naps over workouts anyway

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