A lot of people believe that the main reason for building muscles via strengthening and conditioning our bodies is to look and feel good. And it is true. However, we also need to do regular conditioning for other reasons as it can improve the quality of our sleep, our memory, reasoning and problem solving as well as our overall mental health. It can also guide us in making better choices about our food. Let’s have a look at a few of the most common signs that should ring alarm bells.
1. Lack of sleep - can influence your ability for attention, alertness, concentration and problem solving. A good night’s sleep can also enable you to learn more efficiently. If you don’t sleep enough, you might not be able to remember certain things and so, it might feel like you’re not learning fast enough. It’s important to know that sleeplessness can increase the symptoms of depression particularly if you’ve missed sleep over an extended period of time. Therefore, it’s crucial for both body and mind to be able to rest at night.
2. Full-on (non-stop) training without a break – my life philosophy is ‘all things in moderation’. Therefore, I strongly believe that your body needs a break in between exercises. How much of a break is required in between training sessions? It really depends on what sort of training you do and what you are trying to achieve (for example, weight loss, muscle development; strengthening and conditioning). It’s important to also do some targeted strengthening and conditioning exercise routines (yoga or Pilates) to enable your body to use all your muscle groups properly. To give you an example, think of cyclists or runners who are fully dedicated to their chosen sport, yet don’t do any other exercise. This might not be beneficial to their body long-term. It might be worthwhile to integrate some complimentary exercise routines as well as their focused training.
3. Setting up impossible goals – be realistic about your training goals. Do you want to run a 10km race? Great – go for it and make sure that you allow your body to develop your fitness, strength and endurance to finish the race with grace and without injury. I love running and it’s not just about moving your legs fast. It also means that the rest of your body has to be in sync with your legs. How are your gluteals, hamstrings and calves? How much conditioning do you do with these muscles?
4. Eating junk food – can cause a lack of energy, weight gain and a lot of other health issues including diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Consequently, if you have no energy to do the usual things how can you get motivated to do any exercise? It’s a vicious cycle. For your overall health, it might be better to avoid junk food altogether and establish healthy eating habits. Let us know if you need some help and we’ll be happy to guide you in your new eating routines.
5. Lack of commitment (inconsistent training) – does it sound familiar? You announce your New Year’s resolution – “I want to do more exercise!” – and after a few months you go back to “no exercise”. Half-way through the year, you realise that you haven’t exercised for over two months. Well, I know we all have a long “To do list” including family, work or other commitments. And it’s so hard to get back on track. However, perhaps you could consider finding 20 to 30 minutes three times a week. You could dedicate this time to doing the required conditioning training. This way, you can make sure that your body gets what it needs and so it can serve you better long-term.
6. Giving up because your chosen exercise is too hard – I’ve been there and done it. Have you seen the movie “Billy Elliott”? One of my favourite movies. It’s about passion, drive, commitment and determination. Billy knew what he wanted and he understood that it takes a lot of practice to make it on the top. Once he got there he still had to dance, dance and dance some more. And that’s what I learned about anything I wanted to do in my life (not only sport). You need to practice, practice and practice until you feel like there is nothing else to do. If you believe that you can do it- you certainly can. So don’t give up! Here is for you a clip from the movie - dont' you love it?
“If dance were any easier it would be called football. - Anonymous
7. Over-training muscles (muscle fatigue) –it usually happens when you push yourself to do more than you should and your body doesn’t get a chance to recover. It’s simple maths – if you work your muscles hard, you must allow enough time for recovery and growth by resting. Listen to your body and take care of it.
Do you need help with your exercise routines or want to commence some complimentary conditioning to increase performance in your favourite sport? Send us email and we’ll contact you in next 48 hours to discuss the most suitable option for you.