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Have You become a slave to exercise?

Exercise in all its different forms is good for our physical and mental health and well being When we find something that we enjoy, something that makes us feel good and helps us get in to a routine we become fitter, stronger and and this often leads to healthier eating habits and lifestyle choices. Exercise is well know for lifting low moods and depression .But exercise can also become an unhealthy obsession when there is nothing else in a persons life and no room for compromise, all of a persons friends are also addicted to exercise.


Social media is at our finger tips and along with that comes endless videos of celebrities looking very slim, toned muscular and looking like they have it all and they tell you they spend 15 mins in the gym. There are also endless fitness tips telling us that if we do this one exercise we will have a 6 pack or a flatter stomach or larger chest, bigger biceps or bigger/smaller butt. There is some good information on social media and some helpful tips for sure but there is also a heck of allot of pressure to look perfect.


American college of science medicine recommends adults engage in moderate intensity cardio exercise for a min of 30 mins a day over 5 days a week, or vigorous intensity aerobic exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes 3 days pw.

resistance Training - minimum x 2 non consecutive days a week.

There are no guidelines for a max amount of cardiovascular exercise, but you should take into consideration the impact its having on your joints, your body and your life overall this will be unique to each person depending on age, physical fitness, strength, and other health issues.


For strength/ resistance training, the recommendations from American college of science medicine for (Acsm) for whole body workouts, individuals should train 3 times a week. If an individual is using an upper lower body split routine the recommended amount is 4 days training each major muscle group twice per week. Its important to have rest days in-between resistance training training days to allow the muscles to rest, mend and repair. resistance training comes in different forms, weight machines, free weights-dumbbells and Kettlebells, Resistance bands, medicine balls, body weight.


You talk about exercise pretty much all of the time, You have no other interests, you won't miss an exercise day even if you are away on holiday or away for a weekend break .You are experiencing more often than not prolonged muscle pain and joint pain, feelings of overwhelming fatigue and less enjoyment of exercise. Perhaps a feeling of dread of exercise, you are regularly finding the exercise more challenging even though you are not changing the intensity or the type of the exercise you are doing. You lack enthusiasm and interest in exercise, missed periods for women/ (absence of monthly bleeds) these could be signs of over training. Rapid weight loss, loss or lack of strength, frequent injuries when exercising.


Of course there are variations, there are times when you have a specific goal to work towards for example if you are working towards a specific event or race. Once the event is over its important to give your mind and body a rest for at least a week before gradually easing back into training and exercising again, this may be harder to to do than you think as you will be on a high after completing your goal, But you will have been pushing your body hard and it's important to rest and recover. Take some time before rushing into your next event.


Life really is a balancing act, its finding the right balance of enjoying a little of everything, This means that you spend time with friends and family, you have hobbies you enjoy, you attend social events and you can and should schedule in rest weeks into your exercise, This doesn't mean sitting in the armchair after work doing nothing, and bingeing on box sets the whole time but maybe a bit of relaxation yes but it's a time for active rest, like walking, or gentle swimming with no agenda instead of running to a schedule and pushing your self as hard as you can, Yin Yoga instead of strength training or power yoga, giving your body and your nervous system a break. You will come back into exercise again feeling fresher and more enthused as well as feeling stronger.


Start by cutting down on your exercise and replace it with something else that's not exercise related, go and see a film with a friend or try anew hobby (not exercise related) if you are over exercising because you are trying to lose weight this is not the answer the more you exercise the more you will eat because the brain will not allow you to go into too much of a calorie deficit without screaming at you to eat and that you cant override.

Try guided meditation to help calm your nervous system

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