With Spring Carnival drawing to a close and the loss of two horses after the Melbourne cup, I thought it a timely reminder that sometimes we push ourselves harder than what is healthy. The death of Melbourne Cup race favourite, Admire Rakti, a seemingly fit, healthy horse with no sign of illness, in particular, came as a big shock. Unfortunately it doesn’t only happen in the horse world. So many times we hear of people (healthy fit people) pushing themselves too hard, all too often to their detriment.
How far is too far?
Pushing your limits during exercise is obviously something we all do. And if you are not pushing then you will never increase in your strength, fitness and endurance. BUT there is a very fine line between pushing your limits and pushing yourself too hard. One thing I always tell my clients is that there is a good pain, and a bad pain. If you experience good pain (muscle fatigue etc.) during a session, keep going. As soon as you experience a bad pain (muscle strain etc.) you stop immediately!
Some warning signs to look out for while exercising (Stop immediately if you experience any of the following):
· Chest Pain: While not all chest pain is linked to a heart attack, it is prudent to note that all chest pains should be taken seriously.
· Shortness of Breath: Naturally there is some degree of shortness of breath during exercise, but if it becomes hard to breathe, stop immediately and seek medical attention.
· Joint & Muscle Pain: Sharp or severe pain could signal an injury. Stop immediately to avoid further injury.
In conclusion I note that whilst it is important to exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, it is also important to listen to your body. Like racehorses, we are not invincible, and failure to act upon warning signs, could result in collapse.
For weeks (probably more like months) I have been stuck on a plateau. I know how to get rid of it and break the pattern, but I've been putting myself last - it's a mum-thing.. Sick kids, school holidays, starting a business - all have taken precedence over my weight loss. Not anymore!! Tomorrow I am starting my 8-Week Challenge. And what for a PT will I be if I don't practice what I preach??
Today I did my own measurement, goal setting and fitness testing session. Tomorrow I will hit the ground running and start off with a early morning sesh in my revamped fitness studio. I will eat right and do the right kind of exercise to reach my goals! I can do this - and so can you!
To my 8-Week Challengers - good luck! Let's take our goals and smash them one-by-one!
So how will my 8-Week Challenge work?
Firstly - don't expect a diet. This is a lifestyle change. It has been proven that it takes 21 days to create a habit. By following my challenge guidelines I will help you (and myself) to create healthy habits when it comes to fitness and nutrition. Once we have created the habits - we will build on them and by the end of 8-weeks we should be able to see and feel a notable difference!
Because there is no diet involved and I don't expect you to be taking any supplements it is also safe for breastfeeding and pregnant mums. It is not a weight loss only program and you will definitely not be cutting out any food groups or cutting (or counting) calories. Every challenge will be tailored to suit the challenger. As a pregnant mum, correct nutrition and safe exercise will be beneficial for both you and your unborn baby. For breastfeeding mums, it will help you shift some of the baby bulge in a healthy manner and feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. And with a qualified PT who has an extra qualification in pre and postnatal exercise you will have an added advantage.
So take the plunge with me. Let's do this thing together! Challenge starts tomorrow!
No actually I'm not. I'm here to tell you that when you feel like the picture attached to this post, that is exactly when you need to get off the couch and do some exercise.
I have three kids - I get it. Most mornings (no wait on - every morning) is a madhouse of getting everyone organised and making sure they have brushed their teeth, put on CLEAN uniforms (seriously how hard is that???) had breakfast, packed their bags and get ready to go. All the while feeding the baby, getting him (and myself dressed) only to name a few. As you can see - ABSOLUTE MAYHEM! It is easy to get caught in the trap to say - "I don't have time to work out", or "After the morning I had I have no energy left!"
But you see that is where you are wrong. Making the extra effort and throwing on a pair of runners and doing a workout first thing in the morning or straight after school run is always worthwhile. It releases all those fabulous endorphins which makes me a much nicer person (yes coffee does help too!) and instead of wearing me out - it energises me to get on with my day.
Yes - getting your workout in at any time is important, but research has actually shown that people who exercise in the mornings stick to their regime. This is because they get their workouts in before any distractions can creep up (the doctor's appointment, the trip to the shops, the mountain of ironing waiting in the laundry....) Research has also shown that morning exercise improves sleep! (I am yet to test that theory out - since I still wake up a few times with a certain little toddler...) Whereas evening exercise can cause people to have trouble sleeping. Having your workout in the morning also helps to kickstart your metabolism and that prepares you for the rest of the day.
So next time you see me post on Facebook about a morning class, instead of thinking "I can't", get your running shoes and workout gear on and get your butt over to the session! What have you got to lose other than unwanted calories?? You will thank me later and your body will thank you too!