Listen to Your Body

Alright guys, this is important. You really need to listen to your body because it’s usually right and it’s trying to prevent you from getting hurting or sick. I need to clear up one huge thing first though. Listening to your body does not mean listening to the lazy voice in your head.  I will admit, I am probably the worst at listening to my body, but because of that I learn the hard way and now I will start to truly listen to it.

Last night my body really tried to tell me to give it a break.  Tuesdays are very long days for me; I’m up at 4:00 a.m., at the gym by 5:00 a.m., I run on the treadmill until spin class at 5:45 a.m., leave class 5 minutes early to shower and rush off to work, put in my full 8 hours at work, then head to the local children’s hospital to volunteer until 8:00 p.m., which puts me back home around 8:30 p.m. Then I get to unpack my entire day’s worth of stuff, pack it all back up for the next day, eat dinner, and use whatever energy is left to shower and crawl into bed only to wake up at 4:00 a.m. again. Anyway, last night when I finally laid down in bed, my body hurt. Everything hurt. I’m not sure how this happened; I didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary. So I just grabbed three ice packs and closed my eyes.

Of course when my alarm so rudely woke me up, I was still in pain. However it is Wednesday, this means it’s the good spin teacher and not going to class is not an option (for group exercise fanatics like me, you know that a good teacher isn’t easy to come by so you do whatever it takes to reserve your spot in that class). I did kind of listen to my screaming legs; instead of doing cardio before class started, like I always do, I did abdominal and arm exercises. Then came time for class and I told myself I was totally fine and needed to just suck it up. I got through the class, but I’ll be honest, I couldn’t get or keep my heart rate as high as normal and I certainly didn’t burn as many calories as I usually do. I still got in a good workout and relieved some stress before getting to work, so I was happy. However, every time I stand up or walk to the bathroom I look like a 95-year-old woman. My legs are punishing me for not listening.

I know it’s a little late, but I will now listen when my body tries to warn me. I will not work out when I get home today like I normally do. I will ice and heat my legs as needed tonight. I will drink plenty of water to replenish myself. I will get to bed early tonight so that tomorrow I can wake up feeling energized and ready to go, instead of a being a groggy girl that’s in pain, like today.

Please let my stupidity and obsession with working out be a lesson to you. When your body tells you it needs a rest day, take one. If your body shows you signs that you are fighting off a cold or illness, listen and give yourself a break.  You are supposed to incorporate AT LEAST one rest day per week into any workout regimen, so follow directions and do so. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. If something hurts, especially if it hurts more than normal, do not do an exercise that is strenuous on that body part the next day. If you push yourself, you’re asking for an injury. No one wants an injury, so take a rest day. One day off is better than being out of commission for weeks or months due to an injury.

Your body is amazing. Your body is powerful and can accomplish anything.  Your body is also ridiculously smart! So please, please, please, listen to your body!

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