There’s a fine line between respecting your body and making excuses for it. “Mind over matter” or “mind over mind”; however you think of it, we’re in a culture that trains us to push. We are conditioned to believe that more is better, and that by working to exhaustion and testing our limits every time we w
ork out we’re proving something. To a certain extent, this is true. Nobody ever grew without moving past their comfort zone, and it’s important to make sure you’re vigilant about keeping your workouts interesting and challenging.
On the other hand, there is a point where your body needs a little slack. I continuously have to learn this the hard way, whether by making mistakes like working myself so hard that I reach exhaustion and can’t move for 36 hours, ending up dehydrated, woozy and stuck in traffic on my bike a mile from home, or the situation that happened the other day when I pulled my back out after switching cardio routines.
The body is adaptable, but you have to give it time to adjust. Work up your workout, and make sure that you’re staying aware of things like your energy level, form, speed, and food and water intake. Also keep in mind factors like, how much sleep you’ve gotten, the temperature outside, when the last time you worked out was, when the last time you used that machine/exercise etc.
Don’t end up like I did: an in-shape 19-year-old who couldn’t sleep for three days due to back pain all from going just a wee bit too hard her first time back on the elliptical.
Stay healthy, and be gentle.