By: Emily Oberg
Over the past few months I’ve drastically changed my workout routine. Before, I would do a mix of strength and endurance exercises, cardio, boxing and weight training 4-6 times per week. After realizing that I may be working out hard and not smart, I decided to switch out some of the more intense workouts for low impact, gentle ones. Now, I focus on yoga, Pilates (both mat and classic reformer are great), stretching, hiking, walking and some resistance training using only my body weight. I find that my body not only looks better, but I feel better internally. I’m more calm, less sore, and am less stressed by intensive drills.
While I respect and appreciate people who train like athletes, there IS such a thing as working out too much and too hard. When you overdo it in the gym, you pose the risk of things like hormonal imbalances, increased cortisol levels, increased inflammation, fluid retention, injuries, upsetting your circadian rhythm, irregular or missed menstrual cycles, sleeping problems and other issues that can have serious long term effects.
Everyone is different, if training like Serena Williams works for you, then go for it. But it’s important that we listen to our bodies and understand what makes us feel good and not so good. If you’re suffering from any of the above issues, your workout routine may be to blame. Take an extra day off, go for a walk outside instead of lifting weights, and most importantly, be nice and gentle to your body, it’s the only one you have.