We are all led to believe that the more we train, the better the results and the healthier we eat, the better we will feel. In today’s world we are always striving for more, be it financial or physical gains. And so we push and we push, expecting to hit our goals, but somehow falling short. It’s likely that many of you have, or continue to experience this sense of frustration, and wonder why it is that despite giving it 100% 24/7, you plateau.
If this sounds like you, then don’t sweat it. Literally! Consider taking your foot on the pedal, even if it’s by a small amount. Still not convinced? Have a flick through my top reasons why less really is more when it comes to moving your body and watch your relationship with movement start to transform.
- WE ARE TOO OFTEN DRIVEN BY COMPARISON
Think about WHY it is you have actually chosen to move your body.
While there are many culprits which contribute to planting the pressure seeds in our heads, one has to be social media. While it houses many many positive attributes, it’s tendency to make us compare is undoubtedly a huge issue. I, like many, once felt the need to constantly ‘keep up’ with everyone else I saw online. Are you heading for that workout because you actually want to nourish, energise and strengthen body and mind? Or were you not really in the mood, then a quick Instagram scroll made you feel inadequate in your skin, and so you pushed yourself to go and sweat?
Really think about it. The minute you begin to move for YOURSELF and not someone else (most likely a photoshopped, filtered stranger on the gram), watch how things begin to change for you. And more often than not, this means moving LESS often, but with more intention and joy.
I used to believe taking my foot off the gas meant giving up, or rather, failure. Shockingly it did the opposite. Miraculously I started to gain definition in my muscles and produce more energy. For a few months I found the comparisons hard. Why couldn’t I have the stamina of some others? Why am I less fit? Well, I have come to realise thats because I am ME. My body is unique and it took slowing down to work that out.
- THE STRESS IS REAL
Squeezing 5, 6 workouts into a week? Chances are you are going to be running on empty the majority of the time, meaning you have to rely on adrenaline to get you through the day. If you are undernourished, exhausted from the gym and mentally drained, your body has to find energy from somewhere- it’s forced to create this stress response.
We HAVE to remember that exercise is STRESSFUL on our bodies. The health benefits are obvious, but this aspect cannot be ignored. One of the major symptoms of overexercise is a rise in Cortisol (our stress hormone) which can lead to sleep problems and chronic fatigue. Also it is well known that our muscles need time to recover after a workout, especially weight training. If you don’t allow your body time to recover you may not see results as fast as you could do.
- IT ENCOURAGES DIVERSITY IN YOUR MOVEMENT
While knocking out 3 HIIT sessions a week works just fine for some, it can be detrimental to others. Taking things slow does NOT have to mean you become a couch potato! It’s definitely not an all or nothing approach- if anything it encourages you to experiment with and try new, slower, low-impact styles of movement. Take barre, pilates and yoga- anyone that’s given these a go can vouch that while slow, the intensity and burn is real! Mixing up your movement is a sure fire way to keep the body challenged and guessing, and trust me- this is where you will see the real change.