Over the past few months, I've been pushing myself pretty hard to get in shape and keep up with my fitness progress. I'm working towards taking my Purple Belt test in November, and I've got my work cut out for me! In order to take this test, I'm going to have to not only improve my aerobic endurance (for all the jumping kicks, spins, and sparring), but I'll also have to improve my acrobatic skills (one-handed cartwheel while holding my Bo staff, working towards an Aerial flip, and doing a 540 kick). It's hard work!Here's my problem: I've become so caught up in my hard work that I've totally overdone it! I've pushed my body too hard, and it has responded by telling me, "Sorry, no more!" I spent a week coughing (from running after dark in the cold), hobbling (stupid sprained ankle!), and just feeling tired and drained (between 60 and 120 minutes of solid exercise every day). Basically, my body has shut down, and it insisted I needed a vacation. That was two weeks ago, and I'm finally getting back into exercise after two relaxing weeks of family reunion. I've lost a lot of the progress I've made, and I'm going to have to work hard just to get my stamina and conditioning back to where it was before. My lesson here: don't get so caught up in what you want that you overdo it. Listen to what your body tells you!
When you run, you need to get past that initial tiredness before you can actually get into stride. It takes a few minutes, but you can push past that. However, once you've been running for 20, 30, 40, 60 minutes, your body just runs out of energy. You only have so much available glucose to burn, and only so much fat can be burnt before your muscles give out. When you reach that point, you've gone too far!Listen when your body shows signs of flagging and giving out, and be willing to listen to it. If you're pushing yourself too far with your exercise program, scale it back a bit for a while. Work back up to where you want to be, but don't risk injuring yourself by doing too much too quickly. You'll end up not only in a lot of pain, but also working hard to regain lost progress. Don't make the same mistake I did and get so caught up in your "perfect" workout routine, diet, or fitness program that you end up harming yourself. Listen, adjust, and know when it's time to take a break!