We have this mentality that more extreme is better. Do more cardio, find the hardest fitness class and sweat like crazy for 60 minutes or it doesn’t feel like a workout, go the gym as often as possible, push harder, lift more, eat less, restrict more. We get sucked into this mentality of more is better, it helps us reach our goals faster. Sound familiar? Honestly, I feel that the fitness industry wants you to think this so that they can sell you things, but it’s not the truth.
I get it. I can see how this type of mentality is kind of intuitive, I’ve been there. In my opinion, the old ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality is level 1.0 thinking because it drives us to the point of diminishing returns. It can leave us feeling physically depleted, low energy, and in a cycle that’s impossible to maintain 365.
I’m going to argue that more is NOT always better. Being smart is better. Moving well is better. Listening to your body is better. Better is better when it comes to movement, eating and restorative activity.
Think about the types of stress we place on our body on a daily basis:
Training and exercise, work stress, family stress, relationships, commuting, financial stress. These are all withdrawals from our body’s piggy bank. Our bodies are resilient, and we can handle a lot, but we can’t maintain a balance in the piggy bank if we withdraw indefinitely, without making deposits.
Our bodies *need* real, purposeful recovery. No one is exempt from that. Getting fitter and stronger doesn’t happen while you’re exercising, we need to make the decision to give our body the opportunity to recover and get stronger. We do this by making deposits into our body’s piggy bank. Those deposits are what help us get stronger, fitter and leaner. We’ll be chatting all about that during Mission: Nutrition my (free) 10-day anti-diet boot camp. I want to leave you with 10 simple and practical ways you can make deposits into your body’s bank account to encourage your own recovery and nudge you closer to your goals.
Start a sleep ritual. We can’t control how long we sleep, but we can control what we do to become more relaxed and receptive to sleep.
Go to bed 15 minutes earlier. Give yourself the opportunity for more sleep when you can.
Restorative exercise like yoga or leisure walking. De-stress to balance your hormones.
Move your body in a non-exercise capacity. Play, have fun, laugh.
Spend some quiet time in nature. Seek out some green space to optimize your mental health.
Mindfulness or breathing practice. Connect to your breath.
Foam rolling. Think of it like a self-massage.
Lean protein throughout the day. Include protein at every meal, not just dinner time!
Eat the rainbow. The more colourful fruits and veggies the better.
Eating to support your body’s needs. No food is off limits, but practice tuning into your body’s needs in terms of hunger and fullness, satiety and cravings and energy levels.
Depending on where you are right now, think about adding just one of these. Practice, master and automate. Taking a step back from the all or nothing, no pain-no gain mentality can be intimidating. For many of us, it’s what we know, it’s how we operate, but in the long term all or nothing typically ends with nothing. Join me and a crew of 35 women on January 31st for Mission: Nutrition, my (free) 10-day anti-diet boot camp where we’ll talk about habits that make an impact. Sign up here.