Welcome back to my little blog, where we aim to make big impacts on your overall health! In our last post, we delved into the controversial New Year’s resolution of juice detoxing. If you’re just joining us, be sure to catch up on our previous blogs by following this link https://www.stmna.com.au/blog/
I’m thrilled to tackle today’s resolution, which happens to be a personal favourite of mine to debunk. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve been a victim of this resolution multiple times. Before finding success on my health journey, I implemented a few crucial steps that I’ll be sharing with you, so you can choose the ones that resonate with you and navigate your path effectively.
Without further ado, the resolution that I am writing about is:
Extreme exercise regime to kickstart your year.
Before I face scrutiny from those dedicated to the intense exercise lifestyle, let me clarify that this blog isn’t aimed at you. I wholeheartedly admire your dedication, discipline, and focus on health goals. This discussion is for those new to exercise, those who’ve started and stopped countless times, and those prone to going from zero to a hundred overnight.
Let’s break down why extreme exercise regimes might do more harm than good and how to escape the short-term burnout.
New Year, New You!
As the new year rolls in, optimism runs high, and we’re determined to kickstart our health goals. Many turn to gyms, group fitness, or home workouts, aspiring to become leaner, fitter, and healthier. However, diving into a 4-5 day workout routine without prior gym experience poses risks of physical and mental fatigue. I’m not talking about the natural post-workout fatigue; I mean unsustainable exhaustion that leads to brain fog and insomnia. Productivity and motivation are quick to decline in this process and you will soon notice that getting up in the mornings for your work out or training after work becomes unmanageable.
This too covers the workout challenges that are currently “trending” on social media that entice you to partake in a high intensity, high impact workout routine with the promise of quick fixes to weight loss solutions. For example: get abs in 3-weeks or the “75 hard” challenge. These challenges however, come with surprisingly inherent risks if you have not endured high intensity work outs prior. Daily, high intensity workouts leave you vulnerable to injury and insufficient recovery time for the body. Seeing as these challenges are so public, it often leads to comparison and shame if you don’t follow through, or if you don’t have the “abs” they talk about. It’s important to approach such workouts with caution and moderation and don’t be so hard on yourself if you fall off the wagon, as they start off being unsustainable.
Another risk is the likelihood of sustaining physical injuries. Proper training techniques take time to develop, especially in strength training. Rushing into complex exercises without proper education may result in tears, twists, and strains. Daily intense workouts also deny your body the necessary recovery time, increasing the chances of harm.
Over doing physical activity can also leave you susceptible to becoming sick. I know from personal experience, that when going from zero to a hundred in a very short amount of time, my body and nervous system were sent into shock and overdrive leaving my immune system weekend and exposed. This caused me to get the common cold more times than I could count.
Studies also indicate that overdoing exercise without adequate recovery can suppress immune responses, raising cortisol levels and decreasing white blood cell count.
Not to mention that extreme exercise regimes can leave you feeling anxious and stressed. It is said that exercise is meant to be great for the mind, but when putting an immense amount of pressure on yourself to stick to a demanding routine, you are causing yourself additional stress. Pressure to attain such a big goal, resentment when you can’t reach the goal, and anxiety about going to the gym every day.
So, what’s the solution?
Avoiding extremes is key! Here at STMNA we advocate for balance and health! We want to support you along your health journey and give you a few tools for your tool kit, so you can access them whenever you need.
For those of you who have not stepped foot into a gym, fitness club or done any other form of exercise for a while – I want to encourage you that slow and steady will win the race.
Setting a daunting task in front of yourself such as signing up to a gym and just going can be scary. So, start off your health journey with achievable steps to work towards going to the gym. Slowly begin your fitness routine by doing a walk several times a week, or an extension of the walk you already do. Your confidence and fitness levels will grow as well as a routine that you can eventually tweak in intensity. Once you have consistently achieved the smaller goals, work towards a membership and go once or twice a week. In the course of time the gym or fitness group will replace what used to be a walk.
A gym is not the necessarily the answer for everyone! Everybody is different and certain limitations exist for us all, so looking at alternative methods to physical exercise is highly encouraged. There are so many wonderful classes that one can join that are lower impact like swimming classes, Pilates, dance classes and yoga are all wonderful alternatives to get the body moving and feeling great! The world is your oyster for choice.
If all those things are still not quite right for you, again seek alternatives and get creative! Adding a little weight to make your walk a little more challenging, do 1000 steps instead of just a walk or even opting to walk on the beach as it naturally increases resistance. Do exercise classes with a friend or even join team sports to hold you more accountable than solo exercise.
Before diving into strength training, seek professional advice on technique and form. Consider lighter weights in the correct form for gradual strength building.
Again, slow and steady increments is the key to becoming stronger and healthier.
Finally, listen to your body and give it what it needs. When it comes to physical activity, we are losing water, nutrients and energy during exercise. So, it is critical to replenish and support your body. STMNA HEALTHSPAN capsules contain plant-based extracts that help with inflammation, joint pain and muscle recovery. The daily capsules will support your mood, boost energy, provide mental clarity and aid sleep.
Remember, the key is gradual progress and giving your body the care, it needs. Here’s to a more balanced and healthier you!