Exercise is good for you unless you take it too far. Pushing yourself beyond your limits can cause fatigue and injuries and suppress your immune system. Stay fit with these techniques that prevent overtraining and help you recover if you’re feeling sore.
1. Address control issues. People who become obsessive about exercising tend to be high achievers who value feeling in control. If that sounds like you, you may benefit from setting more modest goals that will protect your long term health.
2. Cultivate a healthy body image. It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to look like the pictures in bodybuilding or fashion magazines. Celebrate your own best features and maintain a bodyweight that’s appropriate for your build.
3. Monitor your heart rate. You can estimate your target heart range by subtracting your age from 220. It’s usually safe to stay within 60 to 80 percent of that figure.
4. Pay attention to the weather. You’ve probably seen people who run outdoors even during thunderstorms and heatwaves. If you feel uncomfortable skipping even a single day, substitute indoor activities while you work on adjusting to a more moderate pace.
5. Make your workouts more social. Exercise buddies can help to enforce a reasonable level of intensity if you get carried away when you’re on your own. Join a yoga class or visit the community pool.
6. Focus on having fun. Exercising frequently is wonderful if you’re having a good time. If you look forward to going to the gym without feeling like it’s an obligation, hold onto that positive attitude.
7. Establish a regular and varied routine. Gradual conditioning is your best friend. Target different body parts on different days, so they all get time to recover. Consistency helps you avoid the weekend warrior syndrome where a mostly sedentary desk worker suddenly tries to play basketball all day.
8. Stretch more. Expanding your range of motion will prevent many injuries. Take time for static and dynamic stretches.
9. Clarify your priorities. Make exercise a valued part of your life, but keep up with all your needs and responsibilities. Spiritual attainments, relationships, career, and leisure interests are also important to your overall well-being.