Did you know there are weird, weird people who actually enjoy working out all the time?
The Weird Ones
This may sound crazy but there are people who workout everyday, sometimes two or more times in a day. They love what they do and they do what they love. They push themselves day after day after day.
“No days off,” is their unspoken mantra, their inner imperative. They cannot fully comprehend the idea of not working out; it just does not compute. A lot of these people wake up before the crack of dawn, just so they can sweat. Before they even finish their current workout, they’re already thinking about and planning the next one. And if it were possible, they’d workout eight days a week. They are totally focused, absolutely motivated and yes, just slightly obsessed.
Have you ever met one of these individuals in person? Or, more to the point, are you one of us?
Are You One of Us?
symptoms characteristics inherent of this strange group are pretty obvious:
- They are fit…really fit
- Most likely older than they appear
- Seemingly endless motivation
- High level of self-discipline
- Probably owns stock in deodorant and body wash companies
- Usually have a water bottle in hand or nearby
- Pretty much always talking about eating or drinking something green
- Usually sore, and usually hide it
- Spontaneously performs burpees or pushups or situps, just because
- On the lookout for the next physical or mental challenge or hack
- If they’re a martial artist, they walk around the house firing off kicks or launching punches at vacuum cleaners, walls, doors, or shadows without even thinking about it
- Can tell you all about the latest mineral, supplement, or diet they’re experimenting with
- Did I mention they are really fit?
So, the questions remains: are you one of us?
Top 5 Reasons We Workout All the Time
Those who don’t workout all the time are probably perplexed by us. Maybe a few of the reasons we do what we do will help.
- It makes us feel great and keeps us young
- Stabilizes mind and emotions
- It’s fun
- We love the progress
- We love the process
Pros and Cons of Being One of Us
Because the pros of always working out are so easy to imagine, I’m going to skip right to the cons. We may not readily admit it, but the cons of being one of us can be big. Some of them I have, unfortunately, experienced myself, but the lesson was valuable still. Harsh, negative effects of working out so often can stem from an inadequate recovery period (a lack of a rest day), and / or improper diet*:
- Mental and physical fatigue
- Persistent muscle soreness
- Irritability and other mood problems
- Chronic injuries or injuries that take longer than normal to heal
- Decrease in sport or fitness performance
- Diminishing returns (plateau effect) from workouts
- Weakened immune system
- Sleep issues
The degree to which one might experience any of the above depends on several factors such as how long one has been working out without a rest period, intensity of workout, diet, health, age, etc. In some cases, the only way to fully recover from overtraining is to stop training altogether for several weeks, if not months, or longer…
How to Be a Balanced One of Us
While none of us like or want to skip working out for more than a day, we need to, we have to, if we are going to stay healthy, reap the benefits of working out, and keep progressing. We also have to acknowledge and let go of the secret fear we all have that, if we take a day or two off we’ll transmute into an 88-pound weakling who still needs their grandma to open pickle jars. We have to understand, one day off will not result in the loss of our superpowers. In fact, the opposite is true; rest enhances our health and our abilities.
So, along with making sure our nutritional intake is up to the level necessary to support the demands of our physical fitness routine, here’s are some things we can do to stay balanced:
- Set aside one or two days per week to do nothing but recharge
- Vary the intensity of training from day to day
- Taper your workouts prior to a game, competition, or other big event
- Cross-train in a low-intensity exercise method
- Devote rest days to body maintenance practices such as massage, muscle rolling, or stretching
Balanced, but Always Training
Along with the above, we can develop an “always training” mentality, meaning, even when we’re not actually, physically working out, we are still in training mode. Studies have shown, and I have experienced it myself, that startling progress can be made through directed mental attention even when no actual physical workout takes place. For example, on rest days, I still pay close attention to my breath, how I move, what I feel as I move, how I connect my body and whether or not every action flows from my center (core). I also note how I engage with myself and with others, and I watch training videos, or read relevant books or magazines. Then, when I get back to working out, I not only feel better, but I perform and progress better.
And, yes, because I’m still one of us, every now and then, even on rest days, I let a spontaneous punch or kick fly…just because, and just to be sure…
Take care of yourself and enjoy those rest dayz!
(Original posted on our martial / fitness site: MFM Blog)