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I’ll be the first to admit:  I need to be more gentle with my body.

This thing that takes me from place to place, child to child, morning to night without very many complaints.  I might have the occasional cold or sore muscle, but for the most part I’ve been very blessed with health and vitality.  I know that a lot of that has to do with the (mostly) healthy foods I put in and my consistency with exercise.

I’ve told you before – I have a tendency towards overtraining.  While I’ve gotten SO much better in this area, I still feel that desire to go run, jump and burpee my way through life, even when I probably shouldn’t.  Ask me to workout with you and I’ll say yes – 100% of the time.  It’s something I love doing.  Sweating is my antidepressant, my quick fix, my drug of choice.  In a society that’s tending towards INactivity, I usually don’t see this passion as a bad thing.  It’s a good habit.  It’s healthy.

…Until it isn’t.

We’re not to that place yet, thankfully.  I honestly don’t have time to overexercise these days but three (even two) years ago, I was in a place where I was exercising 2-3 hours a day.  That’s too much.  Or maybe that was too much for my body – I know that some professional athletes train that long and it probably works for them.  It was too much for me and I’d venture to guess too much for the average person.  I’ve read enough professionally to know that overtraining can be just as detrimental as undertraining.

These days I have time for about one hour and then I’m done.  Yesterday my body ached for a rest day, even though I’d taken one the day before.  I know it’s because I overtrained a bit last week.  I could have pushed through and tried to workout, but I’m getting a little wiser (I know!!!!) so I rested.  We stayed in our pjs all day long, I took a nap…I sat on my butt for most of the day.  My body needed that time to repair itself.

All this to say, I’m patting myself on the back for listening.  For being still.  For putting words into action.  REST.  REST.  REST!!

And that I’ll be on the track this morning, sprinting and jumping, if anyone wants to join.  I’ll be the one looking all refreshed and stuff.

———-

For more on overexercising:

What IS Overexercising?

Dear Overexercising

So You Need A Rest Day

———-

QUESTION:  Do you overtrain?  Love exercise?  Hate it?  When was your last true rest day?

splendid…lindsay

  1. Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift says:

    Proud of you, woman! Same boat over here until recently, and I feel like a whole new human now that I’m giving myself the rest I need. Still feels a bit foreign, but foreign in a good way…like a sexy Greek man just got delivered to your doorstep. Unfamiliar, but exciting. ;)

  2. Tiffany says:

    I don’t think I’ve been guilty of this until just recently. Once I start a workout program, I don’t want to stop until I’ve completed the whole schedule. My problem is that I get too many going at one time! :/ I am looking forward to only doing 1 at a time here in just 9 days! It’s just that I love the ‘after workout high’ so much! I do need to remember that rest is just as important though! :)

  3. Katie @ Run Now, Wine Later says:

    I think lots of us can relate to this post! :) For the last 5 months, I’ve ran 8.5-9 miles once every weekend, and I’ve skipped it twice in the last month in favor of other activities with my new BF. When I feel guilty, I try to remind myself that building relationships and experiences together is just as important to my mental wellbeing as exercising is to my physical well being :P

    I will say that my tendency to overexercise nowadays is more about the feel good endorphin high that I get from working out, rather than the fear that missing a workout will lead to weight gain or extra flab. That wasn’t always the case for me, and I know that fear is still very real for a lot of people.

  4. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries says:

    YES!! Love this so much. I’ve definitely learned the hard way, and even now, I have to take a step back every once in awhile and evaluate how I’m doing with it. I’m definitely much better at listening to my body now…so grateful for that. Great job on listening and resting. Wish I could come do a track workout with you this morning!

  5. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More says:

    I know I battle this some weeks…that was another part of my choosing to defer my marathon entry. With stress from work and life, physical stress from marathon training just came too much for me. It’s important for me to not overtrain because for me too, exercise is my therapy and I need normal rest days to recover but too many rest days and I start to go crazy. no one’s got time for that! ;)

  6. jaclyn.jackson827@gmail.com says:

    I burned my body out after years of over-exercising, resulting in hypothalmic amenorrhea. After a 2-3 month break from anything other than walking and gentle yoga, my body healed and I came to a much better place with exercise. I no longer felt obsessed and/or anxious about missing workouts, and I was finally able to listen to my body. That’s such a great feeling! That’s not to say I don’t have the occasional tendency to overdo it; it’ll probably be a continual work-in-progress.

  7. Katie says:

    Oh Lindsay… I couldn’t agree more with your post! I love exercise & overtrain but I’m getting better. I learned this lesson in college & when Drake was about 5 months old! If you don’t mind…I want to borrow this quote “Sweating is my antidepressant, my quick fix, my drug of choice” but I’ll make sure to give you credit ;)

  8. jen says:

    love this. I am the same way. I actually challenged myself to only do 2 strength/cardio workouts this week – no more than 45 minutes. and then the rest of the week is just walking and a little yoga. i’m on day two and it’s tough, but i know my body needs it! :)

  9. lindsay says:

    i learned the hard way. These days, i only walk or hike between class days. Resting more, active rest. But i know my body now, you are right, we need to be more gentle and wise up. Oh how i wish ALL WOULD READ this!

  10. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says:

    I definitely used to overexercise in college. Now I’ve gotten into a pretty good routine. I usually only go to the gym for 30-45 min and then I try to get in a walk after dinner with my husband or something else that’s more low key.

  11. Sarah@creatingbettertomorrow says:

    I used to be sooo guilty of over exercising! After battling infertility I learned just how much I was damagging my body…now not much time ;) though I will be getting my sweat fests on in just a few more weeks when I feel totally healed and dr clears me – Exercise = my therapy!

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