Ever feel like a couch, a bag of Cheetos and a few hours of “Real Housewives” somehow make the world right again?
(Or maybe it’s “War and Peace” and berries on the hammock, if you’re into that kind of thing.)
Whichever way you roll, sometimes that peace comes with a price: the judgmental mind weighs in.
It’s always right about the time you settle in, put your feet up, and start chewing. The body is happy, but a little voice starts chirping, “Shame, shame, shame!”
Well, research shows the mind needs to give it a rest, because in our “more is better” world, it’s easy to get caught up in the overtraining trap.
Next time your rigid brain questions the things your body is craving, tape the following on the fridge … or the Ben & Jerry’s container.
Your muscles grow when you rest. Lifting weights creates tiny tears in your muscles that can only repair during rest. This repair process is what makes your muscles stronger than before.
Overtraining can cause a weight-loss plateau. You know that working out too often or too intensely can lead to too much weight loss, but most people don’t realize that it can also have the opposite effect.
Trouble sleeping? Needing excessive sleep to fuel your workouts or being unable to sleep, even when you’re very tired, are both indicators that something is wrong.
Overtraining can cause mood problems. Exercise can be a potent anti-depressant, but too much can have the opposite effect, causing anxiety over workout schedules and depression from being chronically run down.
Overtraining often leads to burnout. In the end, life is about balance. We all have limited time, energy and money, and spending too much of them on exercise can deplete that reserve.
Believe me, finding the balance is a slippery proposition on the best of days. But when you practice listening to your body and quieting the “shoulds and coulds,” you’ll not only lose the guilt, you’ll probably learn something new.
And if that “something new” is how trashy women behave in L.A., well, who am I to judge?