Hey y’all! So who’s been amping up their workouts lately? I know I have, and sometimes I wind up feeling pretty sore. Which brings up the importance of listening to your body. So I know this isn’t a Wellness Wednesday, but it’s an important lesson and something we all need to keep in mind as we move forward with our at-home workouts and working on leading a healthy lifestyle.
This past week, which was week 7 of a fitness program I’m in the middle of, I started to do one of the workouts, it was a HIIT workout with 3 circuits, and I got through about 1 of the circuits when my leg started shaking uncontrollably and I started to feel like it was going to give out on me. This wasn’t just general soreness or working through some sore muscles, this was a very concerning feeling that my body was using to tell me I needed to stop and take a break from the workouts. Since I didn’t want to end my day with no workout at all, I still did a brisk walk for my 30 minutes of cardio. I’m not going to lie, at first I felt like a wimp. I’ve been doing this workout program for 7 weeks now and have had no issues completing all of the workouts in them on the assigned days and not skipping any. So I was a little confused as to why I suddenly was feeling so weak and unable to complete this one workout.
But here’s the thing, my body was telling me I needed to give it a break. So, even though I didn’t necessarily like it, I did. I took that evening off from the assigned workouts, I did some foam rolling and a yoga sculpt class the next evening and felt so much better that I was able to get through the rest of the exercises no problem. I’m not sure if it was a lack of sleep or moving furniture around or what that had me so extra worn out that day. But it was something, and if I had pushed through that feeling, I could have done serious damage to my body, damage that would have had me recovering for weeks instead of a day.
When we get in the fitness zone, it can be difficult to pull back, we feel like we have to complete this workout and we’ll just work through the pain. To a degree, yes, that’s what we have to do if we want to see results. However, there is a point where you have to listen to what your body is saying and take a break. A little bit of soreness is understandable, I know I feel sore pretty much everyday after a good workout, which is good, it means I’m working those muscles and I’m seeing the improvement in my body to tell me that it’s working. However, I don’t feel sore to the point where I can barely move my leg or I’m having so much pain during a circuit that I could fall over. Those aren’t points that we should hit during workouts, and if you do, you need to listen to your body and give yourself a break.
When I was in gymnastics when I was younger, I pulled one of my hamstrings while perfecting a move. Rather than take the time to let my muscle rest and relax, what it needed, I kept pushing it and pushing through the pain, and you know what it got me? A muscle that gets pulled really easily now and I never did master that move. Instead, I kept irritating an old injury that I never allowed to heal quite right, so now I have to be more careful with it. That could have been prevented, if I had just listened to my body and taken the time to let it heal properly. Sure, this is a minor inconvenience for me now and I can still do a split, stretch, do my yoga, etc., but that may not always be the case. Serious damage can be done if you don’t properly take the time to rest when your body needs it.
So next time you feel like you need to push through a workout but feel on the brink of passing out, make sure to pull back and take time for recovery. Do some stretching, foam rolling, whatever you need to help your muscles recover faster so you can get right back to it.