On Overdoing It

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 by Rachel

On Monday, I woke up energized and ready to exercise. For a change of pace from the yoga I rely on for both exercise and stress relief, I was going to try the exercise routine outlined in this month’s Prevention magazine, and I was going to work myself hard. Instead of my normal 3 pound weights, I used Derrick’s 8 pound weights for a few of the exercises. I did a good 40 minutes of weights and pilates. (I should note that the magazine recommends 16 minutes of the weights/pilates + another 20 of cardio for your first week doing this routine.)


Well, I definitely overdid it. Two days later, the tops of my legs are still in pain. I hobble my way up and down the stairs, clutching the wall for support (oh landlord, where is my handrail???). I hobbled my way in and out of Chick-fil-a earlier when I picked up some lunch for Derrick and myself (Thank you Chick-fil-a employee for holding the doors open for me!). I hobble my way from living room to computer room, groaning when I sit down and stand up.


So often, when people begin their routines or modify their routines, they overdo it, pushing their bodies too far for the first workout. This is completely normal, as we’re striving for the certain body or better blood levels or whatever our goal is for exercising. The problem is that most people give up after they overdo it, because they think that the pain is permanent. It’s not. As we get used to our workouts and become more fit, the pain goes away.


Yesterday, despite my leg ache, I managed 5 minutes of Wii hula hooping and another 21 of cardio on our Gazelle exercise machine. I took a few ibuprofen and I made sure to Bengay those leg tops before bed. Today, I have taken it easy, watching a movie (Bully, which was almost as emotionally exhausting as I already feel physically) and drinking lots of water. Tomorrow, I’ll be exercising again, and I don’t know if it’ll be yoga or Gazelle or weights (definitely the 3 pounders if I choose weights!).


You wouldn’t believe it if you saw how wussy I am, but overdoing it really isn’t a big deal to me. Finding out what hurts and why it hurts is really important as we develop a greater awareness of our bodies. Apparently the yoga workout that I’m used to hasn’t been doing much for my quadriceps, and I pushed them too far. So I’ll be jumping back on that exercise bandwagon as soon as possible. I won’t let the achey legs bring me down. I’m going to work to make my legs tougher! I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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