How REST can actually help you to achieve your goals faster:
Your goal is to lose weight or tone up, or gain fitness and strength ? You want to feel healthier and more energised?
So this is what you think you must do, you must workout 6-7 days a week, eat chicken and rice, on top of working a full time job or studying trying to maintain a social life, look after the kids/family in other words you're about to exhaust the f**k out of yourself week after week, only wanting to give up altogether.
Okay, so first things first, cut the 6-7 days a week crap that doesn't need to happen , and chicken and brown rice....YAWN, that would make you want to give up living a healthier lifestyle altogether!
An unhealthy cycle like this will stunt your progress and keep you further away from your goals but it can also be seriously detrimental to your physical and mental health.
You need to be realistic when it comes to your workout schedule, if you are a mum with 3 kids a business and a house to run or you are working for a large company in the city starting early and finishing late every day, then 6-7 days a week of training is going to put you into MAJOR burn out mode !
Our muscles need REST to repair and recover!
When you run or do any form of exercise, you create microscopic tears in your muscle fibres, in order to repair and rebuild your muscles to become stronger and more defined/toned you need to:
1. Be eating a diet with enough nourishing food and protein.
2. REST. Without it, the body has no opportunity to rebuild and strengthen the muscles; they just continue to break down. That will literally ruin all the hard work you’ve put in.
The less muscle mass = the more body fat
The more muscle mass = less body fat.
Over training can cause:
- STRESS! over training triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol. Stress can also cause weight gain.
-BINGE EATING OR OVEREATING. When we put our body under the pressure and stress from over exercising, it will feel depleted and weak and naturally will need/want more food.
-MOODINESS. Overtraining can lead to a decrease in hormone production, specifically the hormone catecholamine, which can influence the sympathetic nervous system. This can lead to increased feelings of stress and moodiness. If you’re feeling slightly more irritable or stressed than normal, it might be a sign that you’re training too hard or too often.
-WEAK IMMUNITY. Overtraining weakens the immune system, which leaves you more vulnerable to catching colds, the flu, and other viruses.
-LACK OF SLEEP. overtraining interferes with the bodies circadian rhythm, which can cause you to have trouble sleeping. Symptoms include waking up much earlier than normal, waking up during the night or overall just trouble getting or staying asleep.
This will overall cause:
A BAD RELATIONSHIP WITH EXERCISE, FOOD, & YOUR BODY.
Not only do daily tasks become harder, but overall you workouts become harder and you start to lose form and energy to perform your workouts to the intensity you strive towards in each session. The ability to push yourself becomes a lot harder than it once was.
You will store more body fat
When your body over-trains, it starts to produce hormones called cortisol. When your body is subjected to lots of stress, whether it’s from family, work, or exercising, your body will produce cortisol. Cortisol by itself is a normal occurring reaction in your body, but too much of it can cause an affect to your body. When your body produces too much cortisol it starts to effect insulin sensitivity, which causes your body to produce more fat hormones. It also stops your body from building more muscle, so in reality, you are reversing those gains that you are working so hard to achieve.
How do I know if I am overtraining?
- Fatigue and not recovering properly from your workouts
- Restless sleeps
- Drastic mood changes
- You start to resent your workouts
- You feel bad to take more than 1 rest day
- Decreased performance in the gym
- Your self-worth is based on how much you exercise
How to break the habit?
Take a step back from your training and realise how it is actually making you feel! Perhaps redesign your schedule so that you are training less but enjoying it more. See a health and fitness professional for expert advice on what you need to be doing in accordance to your lifestyle and your goals so that you are gaining and not losing.
What you do to make your workout schedule realistic and healthy is completely up to you, but I highly recommend either the ‘2 days on 1 day off’ approach, or at least allowing 2 rest days in your week where you can either walk, meditate, do yoga or just completely REST!
LISTENING TO YOUR BODY is so important if you need more rest, then allow yourself to rest more, don't keep pushing yourself if mentally it makes you feel anxious or sick. If you’re going on a holiday or having a hectic week at work with late nights, give yourself more than a few days off or even the whole week off. Don’t stress, you won’t lose all your progress, don’t allow your guilty thoughts to make you think its BAD or WRONG that you have missed out on a few days of training, you'll actually come back stronger than before!
Take care of yourself, train smarter not harder, eat well to nourish your body, never give up and find a healthy balance with your life.