Just some housekeeping before we get into the juicy hot topic of the day!
1. Don’t forget to enter my Align Probiotic contest giveaway!
3. Missed some posts over the long weekend? See my top 10 posts of last week here!
4. Susan shares her fabulous green monster experience!
5. Hallie blogs about her first green monster too!
6. On the left sidebar, I have added a list of my categories so you can find posts more easily! I have also finally fixed the category problems!!! Check it out! You won’t see over 400 categories any longer. I apologize for this- it totally messed up when we transferred my blog to a new server! Please note that I have put all of my hot topic posts under a new category called HOT TOPICS!
Exercise and Guilt: Part 2
Missed part 1 on Exercise and Guilt?
Exercise and Guilt: My Story!
I used to be quite obsessive about exercise- I dragged my butt to the gym every day and I really disliked my workouts. I dreaded going to the gym and had the mentality that I had to ‘get it over with’ as quickly as possible. I exercised primarily to change my body– and that was all I focused on. In retrospect, I can see why I found it to be such a drag!!
I started feeling much more positive about exercise when I started focusing on more tangible aspects of exercise, such as:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
I was never a runner, well a long distance runner anyways. In school I used to run short distance sprints for track, but I never could run long distances. So when I started to work on my running and focus on improving my endurance, I found running to be a source of pleasure in my life. I had a new goal! I started out only being able to run 1 minute and slowly over time I built up my endurance. Seeing how far I have come with running really inspires me to run and I enjoy the process of making my heart stronger! It is awesome to focus on the positive changes that are happening internally, rather than just focusing on outward changes (that don’t happen as fast as we’d like them to!). I personally notice cardiovascular improvements much faster than outward, physical changes in my appearance. Each week, I notice that my fitness level improves a bit and that is much more rewarding and motivational to me to focus on! It is no wonder why so many women are left feeling discouraged and unhappy when we make our only goal a size 4 by ‘x’ date!
- Improved strength
My strength was never something that I focused on in the past either. All I cared about was what size I was, not how strong I was. In my mind, muscle was heavier than fat and would put weight on me. Boy was I wrong! Now I enjoy building up my strength and I see it now as a part of a well-rounded fitness regimen. It is also fun trying out new workout videos (like the 30 Day Shred) and the daily BBBC challenge to spice things up a little! I love feeling strong. It is empowering not just in my workouts, but in every other aspect of my life! Knowing that I can get through a level 3 workout of the Shred translates into feeling confidant in all areas of my life. I think to myself, ‘Wow I just had a killer workout…this upcoming meeting/presentation/stressful assignment will be a piece of cake compared to that!’
Setting a goal to run my first race this year was really inspiring for me- especially to be able to do it for charity! I see my training as more than just a workout, I see it as a fun challenge for myself and something that brings me great pride. I also realize that it is essential to take rest days- my training will be improved by a rest day, not hindered! Before I started learning about how to train for a race, I didn’t fully understand rest days. Now I realize that my muscles actually get stronger when I do take a rest day. I try to remind myself this whenever I am taking an off day.
- Happy endorphins!
Let’s face it, endorphins rule. They make us feel energized, happy, and euphoric! I focus on how good I will feel during or after my workout- sometimes I even feel the endorphin high during my workout and that is always fun! Who wouldn’t want an extra kick to their step?
Need more convincing?
Rest Your Muscles
Your muscles need to have a day of rest just like you need to take time to rest after having a lot of activity. But why do your muscles need to rest? The fact is that your muscles utilize the resting time as an opportunity to build more muscles. The resting time you provide for your muscles to recuperate is as necessary as your time spent working out.
There is a phenomenon called "overtraining" which occurs when a person does not avail one’s self of rest time and thusly, overtrains his/her muscles. The muscles simply stay in a state of damage as they are not given resting time as an opportunity to repair. Allowing recuperation is probably the most important step in building larger and stronger muscles. Otherwise, the muscles are overtrained and simply not allowed time to rebuild and strengthen.
It is not unusual for people who overtrain to become lethargic, feel fatigued, and even get sick frequently.
I try not to play the guilt & exercise game anymore! It just isn’t worth it to me. All that time spent feeling guilty could be used toward more positive things, such as reflecting on my progress and reviewing my training goals.
If you are having a rest day and battling negative emotions about it, try this exercise out:
1. List some reasons why your body needs to rest
2. List some of the dangers of over-exercising
3. Plan tomorrow’s workout and get motivated and excited for it!
4. Review your progress over the past month/week/year- Remind yourself how far you have come!
5. Focus on eating healthy today to repair your muscles so you will be strong for tomorrow!
Today’s question: Do you have any tips or tricks for beating exercise guilt?
Have a lovely afternoon! Hope the sun is shining bright wherever you are!
Back to spreadsheet/accounting stuff for me- I am hoping to either bake a new creation this afternoon or get outside for some sun- maybe both! :)