The newest fitness trend. Why sore does not necessarily mean more.
I see it everywhere these days, go, push, hurt, run, bike, sweat, crunch, kill it, and so on.
Why is it that the latest fitness trend seems to be how far can I push myself? How hard can I as a teacher make the class? How much weight can I lift? How fast can I run? How far can I go? Being in the fitness industry for well over 20 years now, I have seen trends come and go. But something about the latest trend really irks me. It irks me because it's training people to work harder, not smarter, and frankly, that is not what it is all about! I am here to dispell the myth that sore means more.
I often hear from clients and students that if they are not pushed to the point of "being sore" the next day, they must not have worked that hard, or the teacher was not "hard enough on them," Where in the world did this thought come from? Was it always this way and I am just noticing an explosion of "Athletic based workouts" in the fitness industry. On every corner these days you can find a spin studio, a cross fit studio, a yoga studio, and a pilates studio. Don't get me wrong here, I think thats great! More opportunities for people to be active and work out. But sadly, we as a society move LESS then we ever did before! How is that with a studio on every corner?
In my research, I have found to believe it's because these workouts (intense, hard , push until you puke) are simply NOT sustainable. Sore simply does not equal more. What it equals is the body out of balance and rhytym, fatigued and exhausted, or worse injured, and a breakdown of muscle tissues, collagen and fibers and nutrients that the body needs daily to sustain itself.
Listen, I love (sometimes) an intense sweat fest like everyone else. However, I have come to find that that is simply not what my body truly needs. When I have focused on sustainable, balanced workouts, with meditation, stretches, proper nutrition, some light cardio with good form, I have had the best results EVER. And I mean EVER. For the first time in my 20 plus years in the industry, and now, a women of my 40's finally working smarter, not harder.
So what does that mean? Am I telling you to throw your 50 miler bike rides, iron man training, crushing it at cross fit, hot power yoga and athletic pilates reformer out the window and stay home and eat chips and listen to James Taylor? Of course not! I am encouraging you to listen you YOUR body and not what the trend says. Find what works in balance and in rhythm with your personal quest. The latest statistics are showing (and proving finally, yeah!) That a slower more focused workout, with good breath, internal reflection (basically be mindful and not mindless) and proper stretching (not for only 10 minutes either, but rather 30 - 60 minutes of assisted myofascial release, deep stretch work).
My suggestion if you love the burn and the sweat fest and simply cannot live without it, is to find a day or two of complete REST, or at the very least, balance your workouts with deep stretch therapy, restorative yoga, non athletic pilates conditioning ( the way joseph himself intended as rehabilitation), or meditation. You might suprise yourself, and your body on how effective this truly is. Trust me, your body will thank you!