I love my job. It’s very freeing to work for yourself, to design fitness classes, to watch people as they build strength, gain confidence, and feel amazing in their bodies. Fitness is a funny thing. When we want to better our health in some way, maybe lose a few pounds, one of the first things we often do is start exercising. Exercise is a wonderful addition to a healthy lifestyle, but it can have a dark side to it as well. There’s a fine line between too much and too little exercise. And for many people, they’re usually in one extreme or the other. Very few people are really balanced. Exercise can be addictive, we can experience an endorphin rush after an intense workout that makes us feel alive and happy. When you get that feeling, you want it more and more. We also believe that if exercise is good, more must be better! Especially when it comes to fat loss. But we’re wrong there. Too much exercise can backfire and actually stall weight loss or even cause weight gain! I know, it’s crazy.
I recently started teaching kettlebells at another gym twice a week, in addition to my existing 10 kettlebell classes and 3 yoga classes every week. It think it’s fair to say that I move ALOT. I don’t participate fully in each class, but I do the warm ups, I demo the exercises and I’m walking around constantly. I fully workout with my classes about 2-3 times a week, maybe more if there are new people and I’m teaching something complex that requires much demonstration. In addition to that I have my own workouts to do! My goals and my training plan are not always the same as what I teach. I cherish my solo workout time. I also practice yoga a few days per week and I walk pretty much every single day. I have free access to 2 local gyms and one yoga studio, plus I have a fully equipped home gym. It’s every fitness lovers dream! I have everything at my disposal for a smokin’ workout or class. So what’s the point of all this? Am I just bragging here? LOL. NO.
It’s overwhelmingly easy and tempting to over exercise, especially when fitness is your business. So my point is to say that while it’s such a blessing to have all of these options and opportunities, it’s also a curse. Whether you’re a trainer or just a hardcore fitness lover, please hear me when I say that you need to take a step back and really analyze what you’re doing. Ask yourself what your goals are. If you just want to be healthy and happy with a well functioning body as you move into your later years, killing it in the gym in your 30’s and 40’s is NOT the answer. Most of the people I train have the goal of just wanting health, and I’d say that’s where the majority of people fall. They’re not training for a competition, a marathon, etc. They want to workout in order to feel good, look good, and move well. This is where the less is more approach is WAY better.
I was forced to change my training plan and accept the fact that my job is very physical and therefore I need to pair down my solo workouts to twice a week. I used to do 3-4, so that’s a big reduction for me. But in order to find balance I realized that it was more beneficial for my longterm health to add more rejuvenating movement into my week. So I walk every day and I have a consistent yoga practice. I feel so much better with this schedule, my body doesn’t ache all the time and I’m not burning myself out. But as a trainer, it’s SO tempting with all the access I have to classes and equipment, to do more. But I remind myself that if I want to show up for my clients, have energy to perform well in my classes, and be a solid role model for them, I need to adhere to this new schedule. I always go back to my WHY. Why am I working out? Why am I a trainer? What are my goals? What advice would I give a client? That’s enough to set my mind right and take care of my body.
Whether you’re a trainer yourself, or an over-exerciser (you know it when you are), take a moment to ask yourself your WHY. Then follow it up with ‘How’s that working for ya?”. If you know it’s not going well, make a change! Do it now before you end up with burnout or a chronic injury. Trust me, it’s so not worth it!