Listening to our bodies!

Listening to our bodies

Your body is one smart cookie. If you're really listening, your body can tell you important things like when you're tired, hungry, stressed or sick, and hopefully, you'll trust your body and honour its signals most of the time. Not that this is easy, as I have witnessed this week, hitting quite a low.

I this week have learnt I'm not too good at knowing when I need rest, being a big believer in exercise is my medicine, ( I admit I think I can be quite obsessed with making sure I work out daily, if not something bad will happen, mentally :) I also like to push myself, getting the best from a workout, training harder to get more results...

It's all just a bunch of mixed messages, do we stop working out when it gets hard or causes pain? "pain is weakness leaving the body right??" And second, what does “listen to your body” mean anyway? If we actually listened to our bodies, would we ever willingly participate in activities that make us tired, sweaty, and sore in the first place?

One thing we know for sure: Exercise is good. Well, the right amount of exercise at the right intensity is good. The challenge is figuring out when enough is enough and when it’s just too much. The good news is that our bodies already know the answer. We just need to train our brains to recognize the signs for this—and actually do it. (I have learnt this lesson this week for sure, I need to cut back a little and spread out my workouts accordingly.)

I can train sometimes 3 times a day, a workout for myself, classes and PT sessions, which is ok but as long as you fuel yourself with the right nutrition and get enough sleep (SO IMPORTANT). As I have stated many times before, everything in moderation. (I put my hand up high and admit I not the best model for this at the moment.)

Being busy, like most of us are with school, work, relationships, family, working out, and the countless tiny things we make time for each day, it's not surprising that we sometimes lose perspective on how we're physically getting through it all. Sometimes the opportunity to rest, eat healthfully, or ditch the energy drink in favour of going to sleep a little earlier slips right past us.

I have always been a person that thinks bodies can not always handle things in extreme.

Sleep for instance is a big need of mine and for many of us, While some of us wear our late-night-early-morning routines like badges of honour, I for one can not (but I have been doing just this). I do love my early morning workouts so I should make sure I get to bed early the night before... "listen to my body".

Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can wreak havoc on the body, productivity, fitness routines, and overall sense of well-being . Poor sleep isn’t an isolated event. Sleepiness create energy crashes during the day, increases stress hormones, and promotes poor eating habits (something I have been witnessing and has been creeping up on me the past few weeks, My nutrition had really slipped, winter mood has kicked in and I have been so hungry for the wrong foods). Doing this though soon takes its toll as your muscles are not getting the right amount of fuel they need to function, along with the brain etc. and then bang, you hit that brick wall.

Hydration too... Around 60 per cent of your body is water and it plays a vital role in every bodily function. You can lose a lot of fluid when you exercise – up to a litre an hour – mainly through sweating and breathing. If you don't top these fluids back up, you can get dehydrated.

Most people have been told they should drink 6 to 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. That is a reasonable goal. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than 8 glasses may be enough. Other people may need more than 8 glasses each day. If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is usually colourless or light yellow, you are well hydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow or amber colour, you may be dehydrated.

Signs of dehydration can be tiredness, feeling faint, confusion, feeling weak plus many more, another point to why we should "Listen to our bodies." If we feel like this we may just need that extra glass of water. When I am doing a lot of activity that one day make sure I'm replacing my fluids and keeping on top of my water intake (not wine!) ;)

On a serious note, Wine does make your body more dehydrated, which again I am aware of and do usually drink water in between, but the last few weeks being tired and training hard I have enjoyed my wine a little bit too much, resulting in making me feel quite unwell and has not helped with my anxiety attacks. "Listen and Know your body!"

I tell all the above to my clients all the time and tell them how they should listen to their body, I though have now realised I maybe do not know my body as well as I thought and I really need to "LISTEN TO YOUR BODY" more and make more of that effort to keep on top.

One Big lesson learnt for me today and will be putting more in to practice to make sure this does not happen again.

Things we should be aware of

  • Be more well-rested
  • Stay on track... Turn my attention to fuel that provides lasting energy: Nutritious foods (protein instead of sugar, for example), plenty of water, and snacks when you need them, which I admit with the time of year I have been slacking as felt so tired out came the chocolate
  • Hydrated, (drink more water.)

From stopping exercise this week all together and thinking the best medicine for me is to rest however has also not been right for me. With my previous bout of depression 7 years ago, this week I have felt a little like I was going down the same road. I will admit this really scared me and has made me realise how great exercise is for the mind! As stated so many times before.

After speaking to my doctor on Thursday, for someone like me who exercises daily, to just stop can cause side effects. I am used to getting those natural endorphins running through my body 2-3 times a day, for then to just stop can cause me to hit a wall of a sad state straight away. My doctor recommended that I did a small workout Thursday afternoon, although I may feel more tired then usual to give it a good go, I did and instantly I felt better and more myself :) I have also worked out today and I can say I do feel so much better to how I felt at the beginning of the week.

So "Listening and Knowing your body" is so important and I would highly recommend you know what helps or hinders you and stick with it. I can honestly say I know this is hard and I am still learning but with the right information you can do it!