Girls, I am so proud of all your hard work. I know it isn’t always easy finding the time and energy to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Seeing so many women take control of their bodies and minds makes me so happy!
I think it is wonderful how hard you all work, but sometimes we can work too hard! In this blog post, I want to encourage you to think about how you feel after and during your workouts. Even though eating well and exercising is important, you can overdo your training.
We can all do better at listening to our bodies! Staying in tune with how your body is feeling will help you avoid long-term problems. This might sound scary, but don’t worry. Listening to your body takes practice, so I’ve highlighted a few easy ways to tell if you’re pushing your body too hard:
YOU CAN’T COMPLETE YOUR WORKOUTS
If you struggle again and again to finish up an exercise routine, it is probably too hard for you or you are working out too often.
Think about ways to tweak the workout to make it better for you. You can:
- Use lighter or no weights. I often prefer body weight exercises anyway.
- Ditch your planned workout and take a day (or more, if needed!) to actively recover.
- Alternate your high-intensity days with lighter days.
YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MIGHT FAINT OR THROW UP
Or, worse, you do pass out or get sick to your stomach.
If you’re feeling this sick after or during a workout, you are probably pushing yourself too hard! There’s no shame in taking a break or doing a different version of an exercise when you’re feeling poorly.
Some women find that working out and their periods don’t go well together. Even though doing some exercise can help you feel better during your period, it is okay to take it easy too!
YOU CAN’T FALL OR STAY ASLEEP
One of the best benefits of exercise is getting a good night’s sleep. When you make exercise a habit, you should be able to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep until your alarm starts buzzing.
If you are constantly tossing and turning in the night or you just can’t fall asleep, you might be stressing out your body, making it hard to “shut down” when you’re resting.
Any type of exercise increases your cortisol levels during and post exercise. This is totally normal. But high levels of cortisol are what prevent issues with sleeping. Try not to do any exercise 2 hours before bed.
YOU DON’T WAKE UP FEELING REFRESHED
If you wake up and don’t feel well rested, this is your body telling you that it needs rest. Take it!
As a general rule, if you wake up feeling any less than a 6/10, don’t exercise that day. This will just put further stress on your adrenal glands and cortisol, and will cause fat storage rather than fat loss.
YOU GET SICK A LOT
We can get sick for a number of reasons, but working out doesn’t have to be one of them! Most of the time, exercise helps your immune system do its job better. But too much of it can actually do the opposite.
If you’re living a healthy lifestyle and you still get sick more than you’re friends and family do, try to ease up on your workouts.
Of course, it is always smart to get a professional involved with these matters too. If you’re ill a lot, visit a doctor to make sure it isn’t anything serious.
YOU ARE GETTING BIGGER
If you feel like you’re getting bulkier or you’re not happy with the way your body is changing, your workouts probably aren’t suited for you. Getting bigger from working out can show up in two main ways:
YOU’RE GETTING TOO MUSCULAR
If you’re starting to see your muscles grow rapidly, your problem probably isn’t over-training. Instead, it is training in ways that aren’t suited for your body type. While muscle building is important, some people really prefer not to gain extra muscle and would need to switch to a cardio inspired workout.
There are ways to work out to get back to a lean, toned look without gaining mass. Here are some of my favorite workouts that have helped me do this!
YOU ARE STORING MORE FAT
If this is you, you might be doing the right kinds of exercises for your body type, but you are probably pushing yourself too hard while you go!
Most of the time, working out should help you lose fat (of course!). But, when your body is under extreme stress, cortisol levels can remain high. High cortisol levels cause fat storage (especially around the hips) and make it difficult (sometimes impossible) to lose weight.If this is you, I suggest helping your body by:
- Getting enough sleep to let your body repair itself.
- Resting when your body feels like it needs it, rather than pushing yourself to exercise.
- Toning down the intensity of your workouts
- Eating a healthy diet for your body type.
YOU’RE MOODY AFTER A WORKOUT
I’m not just talking about feeling hangry. It is natural to feel a little weak and tired after a workout, but that should go away after a healthy post-workout meal, water, and a bit of rest.
If you feel extremely worn out, irritable, or unable to do much for the entire day after a workout, it was probably too draining on you. After exercising, you might feel tired, but you should also feel:
- Proud of yourself for completing a challenge!
- Happy because of the endorphins your body has created.
- Able to go about your normal tasks.
YOUR HEART RATE IS EXCESSIVELY HIGH
Try checking your heart rate once in the middle of the day while you’re resting and once in the morning right after waking up. If your heart rate is higher in the morning, you are most likely overtraining.
YOU FEEL AWFUL IF YOU TAKE A DAY OFF
I love that all of you want to prioritize working out! It is great to see so many of you pushing yourselves and getting excited about exercise.
But sometimes important life events, sickness, or an extremely busy day stop us from working out. While it is great to stick to a schedule, you shouldn’t let yourself dwell on the guilt of missing a workout.
If you feel miserable for missing a workout, that’s a good sign that your exercising has become too much,mentally!
YOUR BODY ALWAYS HURTS
Most of us feel sore after an especially tough workout. In most cases, this just means that your body is repairing itself. But, if you’re feeling sore every single day, there’s a good chance you’re overdoing it.
I try to make sure that I’m doing things to help my body repair itself. Here are a few things that should help your normal body soreness feel better:
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Foam rolling.
- Taking breaks when you need to.
- Icing your joints and muscles to reduce inflammation.
You — and your body — shouldn’t feel miserable after or during a workout! It is great to challenge yourself, but you can lead a healthy lifestyle without pushing yourself too hard.
Exercising and eating well is all about improving your life! Make sure that your lifestyle helps you feel good mentally and physically.
I hope you found this blog post helpful! Need help finding the right program to keep you balanced? Reach out and let’s chat!