Wait, did you just read that headline right?
Yes, I am advocating you stop exercising. But let me give you some background first.
Late last year, I was working really hard to get ready for the New Year’s rush. You know the time of year. Everyone has made a resolution to get into shape and will start looking for a trainer to help them achieve that goal. I was coming up with a lot of ideas and doing everything I could to implement them.
Then something happened the first week into January.
I felt like the business was consuming me. It was taking over my life too much. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I would read books but not comprehend what I was reading because I was thinking about the business. I wouldn’t pay attention to the person that was talking to me because I was thinking of what I needed to do next for the business. I couldn’t even go to sleep at night because I was being distracted by my thoughts.
So what did I do?
I basically walked away from the business for eight weeks.
Now I continued to train my clients, work with my trainers and meet with potential clients who contacted me. But that was it. I didn’t do anymore marketing, didn’t send out any emails and became a business hermit.
I was so caught up with everything that it was affecting me mentally and physically.
It was the best thing I ever did for myself in a long time. I was going to sleep at night, I actually had meaningful conversations with people and I enjoyed some great books.
How does this correlate to you not exercising? Let me explain.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a couple of potential clients who need help. As we were chatting, both of these clients told me that they were ready to exercise seven days a week.
That gave me pause. And I told them that was the wrong thing to do.
A lot of people think that more is better. If I exercise more, I will reach my goals quicker and be happy. If I come up with at least five more marketing ideas, the business will go where it hasn’t gone before. I just have to sacrifice my life to reach that goal.
Let me tell you what happens when you exercise too much.
Your body needs rest to repair itself from the damage you did to it when exercising. Constantly breaking down the muscles doesn’t allow for your body to recuperate from the last workout. And then what happens? Check out these signs of overtraining:
- Increased resting heart rate
- Increased resting blood pressure
- Decreased maximal power output
- Decreased sports performance
- Decreased maximal blood lactate concentrations
- Slower recovery after exercise
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased desire to exercise
- Increased irritability and depression
- Increased incidence of injury
- Increased incidence of infection
Do these sound like good things?
And if you think the weight loss from overtraining is going in the right direction, guess again. You will actually be losing muscle tone. And when you lose muscle tone, you are lowering your metabolic rate that will eventually lead to weight gain down the road.
When I meet with someone who wants to change their habits through exercise, I tell them that exercising 3-4 times a week is a good start. When they build themselves up to a certain level, then going 4-5 times a week is okay. But there is no way anyone should be exercising 6-7 times a week.
And the majority of them are relieved that they don’t have to exercise so much!
You see, less is more in a lot of things that we do in our lives. You just have to find the right balance to live a healthy, productive life. Always going full speed is going to lead to burnout. This will eventually lead to a lack of motivation and then you are right back where you started.
Who wants that?
So next time your body starts talking to you because you have been exercising constantly, listen to your body. Stop exercising. Take a week off. Heck, take two weeks off. It’s okay. Since you have built the habit, you will start right back up again after you have taken some time off.
Let me know what what you have done in your life where you needed to take a break. What led you to that point where you knew you had to stop what you were doing or you were going to become overwhelmed.
Now if you will excuse me, I have some work to do. 🙂