One of my major goals for 2013 was to start listening to my body. I have been terrible at this, and have the belief that my body can just work to the max all the time, with no rest. An extremely hard part of this is taking rest days. It is normally on those days when I feel good and want to work out, but know I shouldn’t. This used to result in a bad mood for a large majority of the day, because working out makes me feel my best. Luckily, I have been extremely good about this in the last few weeks, and have actually started to look forward to me rest days.
Lately, I have been listening to my body as much as I can, and taking those things into consideration into my workouts, I’ve discovered some things.
- My legs have off days, even when I think they should be fine. I overwork my legs. I will admit it. I will run everyday, do the elliptical at a high resistance, go for walks on top of that, go for a bike ride. A lot of this happens in the summer, mostly because I love to be outside and moving, and hate just sitting not the couch. My run on Sunday reminded me that my legs do need breaks. I should have recognized this on Saturday, when the walk around the pond with Aaron hurt my legs. I figured one rest day would have been enough, but it wasn’t, and I am learning.
- Dehydration got the best of me this weekend. Without a sink, or fridge with water, I found myself not getting any water. I would be thirsty, but it was a huge process to find water, so I just went without. BIG MISTAKE! I had a headache for 24 hours from Saturday night to Sunday night. I felt miserable, and gobbled up water on Sunday when I realized what I had done on Saturday (think maybe 16 oz of water all day!)
- My body needs food. I was trying out a part of the intuitive eating plan. Mostly, just the eating when you’re hungry part. I used to always followed a plan, ate when I should, didn’t eat if it wasn’t time. So for 2 weeks, I ate when I was hungry, besides breakfast, lunch, and dinner because those were at set times. I noticed that I didn’t eat too many snacks in between meals, because I wasn’t hungry. Unfortunately, at the end of 2 weeks, I realized I was hurting my body more. I need food, because I need fuel for my workouts. I found myself not being hungry for a snack, but then being incredibly hungry for dinner and eat more than I should. Or, I would wake up starving to the point where I didn’t feel good in the morning because I hadn’t eaten much the day before. I never counted calories, so I have no idea if I was consuming enough, but I know that my body wasn’t performing at its best. So, now I have multiple snacks packed so I can eat at least something even if I am not terribly hungry, or eat something a bit larger if I am finding myself hungrier.
- There have been days where a workout sounds like the last thing I want to do, and so I don’t do it. I never want to make working out a chore, because it is something I enjoy full-heartedly. By listening to my body, I have found that on these days, my workouts are less than stellar, and I don’t gain anything out of them. So what’s the point? I know that I will always come back to it, and it is on these days that my body needs a break.
- I feel much better after stretching! I neglect this way more than I should, but only because I run out of time most mornings. After a workout, though, stretching feels so great, and helps me recover faster. I am trying to stretch more, and I can tell that I feel better on days that I stretch.
I think it is really important to take time to listen to your body. It is something I neglected for so long, and now am realizing why I need to!
Have you ever found yourself dehydrated? Are there things your body is trying to tell you? If you don’t feel like working out, do you anyways?