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When not to exercise…

Keep Going

I got injured at soccer last week, tweaked my knee so it’s now swollen and making it pretty unstable.  My first concern was how will I keep the Insanity Max:30 workouts going with the knee.  It would have been very easy to stop the program, everyone would have understood that my knee was sore and that I needed to rest it.  And while I definitely recommend listening to your body, I also recommend knowing when to keep going and push through:

  1. You’re sore from your last workout: believe it or not, the best way to get over muscle soreness is to exercise.  You might need to take it easier by going for a light jog, a swim or taking a yoga class if the soreness is too much, but activity will loosen the muscles, get your blood moving and warm you up to be able to stretch them out.  
  2. You’re sick:  if you have the flu or a fever, stay in bed and rest.  A fever means your body is fighting the infection, so adding exercise is unnecessary stress that will take away from your ability to heal. If you have a cold however, moderate intensity exercise or even yoga is fine.  I always go by the ‘neck test’ theory.  If it hurts above the neck (headache, runny nose, sore throat), you’re fine to workout.  Anything below (body aches, chest pain), stay home and rest.  
  3. You’re tired:  while I definitely recommend getting enough sleep to get your muscles recuperate and your mind rest, working out will give you the energy you need to get through your day and sleep better at night.  I would recommend not working out too close to bedtime though, or you’ll be wide awake for the next couple of hours.  Give your body the time it needs to wind down 
  4. You’re stressed:  just like being tired, exercise will relieve stress, calm your body and mind and help you relax.  While my body usually asks for a glass of wine when I’m stressed, the first thing I do is work out. While yoga will help you unwind and relax, I find that high intensity workouts are best for me when I’m stressed out.  The high intensity means that I don’t have time to think about anything other than the workout, helping me detach from my day and giving myself a break.  
  5. You’re anything else:  if ever you’re unsure about whether you should workout, just start.  Put your runners on and star the run, push play if you’re following a workout program, get up off the couch and go to the gym, yoga studio…where ever you work out.  Once you’re there, do it for 15 minutes.  If after 15 minutes you’re still not feeling it, maybe talk yourself into doing it for 5 minutes more…and maybe 5 more after that.  And since you’ve worked out for 25 minutes already, what’s 5 minutes more…  You’ll thank yourself for going and there’s no better feeling than a 30 minute workout when you didn’t feel like getting off the couch in the first place! 

 Let me know your reason for not working out…I’m sure I’ll find a reason for why you should…


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