Though the mental side of working out is often ignored, being self-aware in the gym will actually help you improve. Sometimes learning when to slow down, or even stop, is necessary to help progress further in your fitness journey. Pushing yourself too far can set you back and result in injuries. In this article from ABC 2 News, we learn the importance of listening to your body when you’re working out.
— Farrah Herbert (Faz) (@herbert_farrah) October 4, 2017
Self-Awareness Can Help in Your Fitness Journey
“Make a decision, Jeff.”
That cue is something I hear from my training partner Nicolai Myers when I’m pushing through a really difficult set during my workouts.
It’s something we’re all presented with no matter what level of fitness we are at. Our bodies either feel great or run down and we have to make a choice as to whether we will push through that boundary or dial back in order to get quality work in.
The choice between forcing your body past its limitations and dialing it down to get more work done can be a difficult one. People enter the gym with the goal of pushing themselves past their limit. They always want to go above and beyond what they were able to do during their last workout session. However, it’s important to remember that the human body can only take so much. Look out for yourself and your exercise partner to make sure you make the best of your fitness journey.
What Exercise Overexertion Can Do to You
Exercise is supposed to make you feel tired, but in a rewarding way. When you push yourself too hard, you will start to feel like your body is betraying you. If you experience the following, this is your body telling you to slow it down:
- Difficulty in breathing and talking
- Body pain and soreness.
Dehydration and difficulty in breathing and talking while working out are especially big threats during summer, or in warmer climates. Remember to keep your water bottle close. In extreme cases of overexertion, one’s chest might start to squeeze and tighten. In this event, it’s best to have someone call 911, because you may be experiencing a heart attack. Remember, communication is important. You and your coach or workout partner should always listen to each other.
Always Aim for Balance
The more you’re working out, the more time you’re going to need to recover. Exercising creates both micro and macro tears in your muscles. If you’re doing high intensity exercises (like deadlifting) one day, balance it with some light aerobics on another. Learn your limitations and don’t try to push them immediately. A slow and steady fitness journey is far better than an intense and fast one.
Thomas DeLauer’s video on overtraining provides you with more information on the dangers of pushing yourself too much and the importance of self-awareness while exercising. Watch it here:
What has your fitness journey been like? Have you ever pushed yourself past your limit and gotten hurt? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.