Why You Don't Need To Workout Every Day
this blog post is part of a series, #oneblogpostaday.
the first part of this series is focused on wellness + longevity.
In our world today, workouts are a form of social currency.
Are you a Soulcycle lady or Barry’s dude? Do you enjoy more chill workouts like Pilates, or intense cardio at Equinox?
Regardless of social status, it seems like if we don’t fit in an hour-long workout class to our daily schedule, we’re a failure. As boutique fitness studios have become part of our culture, we’ve also began tie our self-worth to how much (or how little) we moved that.
I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, right?!
My obsession with working out started long before trendy cycling classes took over my social calendar. My teenage years were marked by long runs and intense sports. From the outside, I may have seemed like any gangly teenager who played soccer and went on the occasional jog.
And well, it did start out innocently.
At 14, I wanted to train for my high school soccer team tryouts. I wasn’t as skilled with the soccer technique as some of my peers, so I figured that running a great mile would surely put me on track to get on the team.
But, soon enough - I became obsessed. Running became my thing. I went on many double-digit mile runs. No matter what the weather, the mood or the day - I was out there.
I convinced myself and everyone around me that it was form of releasing stress. And, that was partially true. But I quickly began associating running 7 miles (at least) with being able to eat food. If I didn’t complete my long run that day, no cake (or dinner) for me.
It took many years (nearly a decade) to break down that association. And let me tell you - it definitely got worse before it got better.
It wasn’t until I ran my second marathon when I realized that working out didn’t need to be tied to my food intake. But, it wasn’t until very recently that I began to unravel my need to work out with my self worth.
I had always known that there are many aspects of being healthy.
But the one that always rose to the top for me was exercise. I cared less about the food I ate or the amount of time that I took to rest. I truly believed that the more I worked out, the healthier I was.
It wasn’t until I started to dive deeper into my health coaching certification that I really began to differentiate between longevity and being healthy right now. My expanded mindset made me question: will that intense cycling class help me live a longer, healthier life? Or is it just releasing endorphins right now?
I never thought that you could exercise too much. But in fact, I learned that we don’t need to do intense workouts every day. Essentially, workouts have diminishing returns after a certain point - it’s important to get moving. But, harder doesn’t necessarily equal better.
But, it wasn’t until I read the book, Alissa Vitti’s book Womancode (you can find it under my favorite things, here!) that I learned our push-to-your-limits fitness culture can actually be detrimental to our hormonal health if we engage in it every day. And as women, we have to listen to our bodies – because not many others are.
I was especially interested in this idea of cycle syncing – using the four different aspects of my cycle to help my body instead of hinder it. I’ll write a post about this soon - but know that it’s actually beneficial for us to relax on the couch during certain times of the month - and take that HITT class during others.
The main takeaway
Most importantly, we all need to listen to our bodies.
It’s easy to get swept up in our culture today where we feel this pressure to act like we’re training for the Olympics. All I want to leave you with today is that it’s okay (and important) to practice tuning in to your body. To take a day off. To go for a walk instead of a run.
Remember - we want our bodies to grow old with us - sans hip replacements and creaking knees.