Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weight Loss Success Tip: Learn to Read the Signals from Your Body

I was really good at ignoring the signals from my didn’t serve me, but I didn’t realize that at the time. I thought I was being a “good soldier” marching on, pushing through pain and illness...but what I found was I got hurt or I got really such a degree that I couldn’t workout for weeks or even months. Obviously this did not help me in maintaining my health, fitness or weight loss goals.

Many of us are in the same boat—we ignore the messages our body is sending—we eat even when our body is full, we sit on the couch when our body wants to move, we stay awake when our body tells us to sleep, or we march on when we need to rest.

Exercising is a type of stress. We stress our muscles when we exercise. This is not a bad just is. To increase our muscles we actually (literally) tear them down a little. Then when they grow back they are stronger. But our body also needs rest in order for the muscles to rebuild.

Sometimes our lives are so stressful that we just can’t physically handle a workout. On the other hand, sometimes by getting in a good workout, we actually RELIEVE stress—especially if our stress is more emotionally based.

That’s another reason to have a mini workout plan that you can activate on days when you feel like you can’t or don’t want to exercise.

So if you normally workout for 15 or 20 minutes a day...have a 5 minute might be casual stroll around the block, or deep breathing and yoga poses.

If after the 5 minutes you feel drained then listen to your body and stop. If you feel better, then try another minute. Keep checking in with your body...if you are feeling good go for another minute, if not: stop. By checking in and listening to your body you will begin to know the signals it is sending and sometimes, practically without knowing it, you will have done 15 or 20 minutes when you started out with the intention to only do 5!

An important part of this is to not dwell on feeling like *&^% while exercising. Tomorrow we’ll talk about shifting your focus to other things.


Dadshrinks said...

Wow, I just blogged this morning on this exact topic. Last night at the gym I found my body had nothing to give, so I cut it short and decided to take a few days breather - I'd hit the gym every day but one in the past two weeks. First time I've ever listened to my body!

Laurie Tossy said...

Awesome! I'm proud of you for listening to your body. I suggest you take one day off every week--especially if you are working out hard. You body really does need a day of rest.

In the meantime, have some easy mini routines so you keep moving a little and evaluating if you are really needing more of a break or if you are ready to get back to it.

Wendy said...

I agree, what a difference it makes when I actually listen to myself and my body. I've definitely overdone it in the past, but now that I'm in my 40s and I've noticed some shifts in my body, I'm much more interested in slowing down and listening instead of barreling through.

Laurie Tossy said...

Wendy--there is definitely something true about the adage "wisdom comes with age"...thanks for checking in!