A couple of days ago, I discussed the importance of “turning it up a notch” as far as your workout routine is concerned. This is a great way to see results in your quick weight loss diet.
As I explained, increasing intensity is one of the best ways to reach your fitness goals and avoid exercise plateaus. Now, as a follow-up to that, I do want to point out an make very clear that you can’t increase intensity forever. Obviously our bodies, no matter how fit we are, have a limit before they start to “break down” in a sense.
This “break down” is often referred to as “over training” or “over exertion” and can really hinder your progress on your quick weight loss diet journey. So, how can you avoid over training? Well, firstly, understand how we build muscle.
There is no magic pill that will make you strong and lean over night, and the use of steroids and other dangerous substances can cause extensive-and permanent-damage to your body. So that leaves only one way to build new lean muscle. Yeas, I know it’s not what you want to hear, but diet and exercise-namely strength training-are the answers.
When we exercise and use our muscles, we “tear” the muscle in a way and wear it down so it gets accustomed to doing a certain type of activity, exercise, or lifting a certain amount of weight.
After being worked in this manner, however, the muscle needs to rest in order to recuperate and rebuild strength. With the right amount of exercise and recuperation time, the muscle will become bigger and therefore more capable of doing more work.
If we throw off this delicate balance of exercise and rest days, we risk injuring ourselves. Overworking your body and muscles can cause a number of problems and can lead to injuries preventing us from being able to exercise at all for extended periods of times. Examples of injuries that can result are torn or pulled muscles, ligaments, and tendonitis.
So how can we know how to find this balance? Here are some guidelines you may want to follow:
1. Have a training schedule where you pre-plan your rest days. Make sure you throw in at least one day a week where you give your body a chance to relax altogether from exercise.
2. When strength training, be sure to evenly distribute your time over all major muscle groups. For example, if you are working upper body today, give those muscles a rest tomorrow and focus on some leg work. This will give time for your muscles to rest while still getting some exercise in by focusing on another area of the body. Never overwork one part of the body while neglecting the rest.
3. If training for an event, build up your intensity until about a week or two before the event. As the event nears, exercise at a more moderate intensity level to avoid injury. Some professional athletes take a few days to a whole week off before the big event to be sure to get enough rest to recuperate and re-energize!
4. Listen to your body! No one knows your body better than you do. If you feel dizzy, light-headed, or feel that you have an injury, stop exercising immediately and assess the situation. Find out if your symptoms are due to over training, extreme heat, dehydration, or injury.
It’s great to be motivated and to want to exercise and be fit. BUT, we need to take care of our bodies as well, and sometimes, that means resting. Be active but be smart, listen to your body and stay focused in order to reach your fitness goals.