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When to push vs. taking it easy

There are days you feel good versus days you feel like never seems to end. So what are some conditions to know when to push versus taking it easy. Let’s take a look.

Ample rest Sleep deprivation sucks. You’re lethargic, groggy, and feel like a zombie. It is recommended to get 8 hours of sleep, but most people get between 5-7. However, there are days where you don’t get enough and this affects your exercise negatively so getting the right amount of rest is crucial. If you slept well, then that’s your green light to push hard. Days where you barely slept is when you want to put the brakes on and take it easy.

Soreness You deadlifted yesterday and your back, hamstrings, and glutes are SHOT. Are you going to push yourself the following day? Absolutely not! Chances are, you are barely able to walk and sit down without grimacing. So this is where you prioritize foam rolling and stretching those aching muscles. The thing that you don’t want to do is sit down and do nothing. Yes, your body will feel like a ton of bricks but moving it will help you recover faster. When you are sore, then exercise areas that are not. For example, on Mondays, I exercise the upper body and will do lower body Tuesday so my chest and arms recover by Wednesday.

Illness/Injury Running nose, high fever, upset stomach, aching body, all of these happen from time to time. The key is to ease back into your regular routine. Don’t expect to lift the same amount of weight or have the same cardiovascular capacity because the rate of muscle atrophy is quick (unfortunately). We can all get sick or hurt at any time, so enjoy your health and take advantage of it!

Mealtime Whether you exercise in the morning or nighttime, having enough energy is key to maximizing your workouts. Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseous can be a sign that you didn’t eat enough. This jeopardizes your workouts, so make sure you eat. I recommend eating 2-3 hours before workouts. However, for those that exercise early, eating a banana or protein bar should be enough. At times, I exercise on an empty stomach, but you have to be used to that. For those that exercise after work (5-7 pm), I recommend eating a snack 2-3 hours before.

TOM (applies to females) TOM, or Time Of Month as I call it, limits your ability to push yourself. Without going into too much detail, let’s say when TOM comes to town, take it easy.

So there you have it, the conditions to know when to push versus when to take it easy. Hope you enjoyed reading this week’s blog. Stay tuned for more next Wed…….Kei

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