You've seen it everywhere and may not have even really realized it but people work out like they are fighting a battle. Fitness routines have become jacked.
Working out to exhaustion is not a good thing
and yet that is what many do. Culturally, we are told very early on that in order to succeed in life, we have to work hard. The harder we work, the more successful we become. Sacrifice. Dedication. Hard work. Why would we treat fitness any differently?
We are killing ourselves. When you are exhausted, you are open for disease and illness. We spend our time doing and not nearly enough time being. You may be getting cut on the outside, but you're suffering on the inside.
This attitude negatively impacts the sustainability of your workouts and your ability to achieve your goals. If you have the 'no pain, no gain' attitude and believe that more is always more, than you may be fully entrenched in a battle at the gym. It's okay, no judgments but you may want to ease up a bit -- this isn't the only way to train.
Remember that your body isn't something you need to attack, you need to learn to nourish, strengthen and heal your body and that takes a lifetime. It is a journey. It is learning what makes your body soar its highest. Is it dance? Is it yoga? Martial Arts? Are you a person who hits a meditative state when running? None of these methods are better than the other, it is whatever will work best for you. Broaden your mental horizons while improving your fitness.
None of this is to say that intensity is a bad thing. In fact, it is a wonderful thing but you have to learn to use it wisely. Taking it easy all the time is just as bad as going too hard. Find your middle ground. Listen to what your body is telling you. Be okay with your discomfort. Know what days you can push to your limits and what days you should ease off the pedal. If you can master this ability to hear your body's signals, you will find it so much easier to train hard and meet your goals.
By all means you can train at a military pace and be looking smoking hot in your 30s. But you probably want to live past your 30s and still be active, so it might be worth looking at slightly different workout philosophies. Think of fitness as an adventure, not a destination. Find ways that naturally speak to you, let your goals evolve from there. An active and fit lifestyle doesn't HAVE
to mean crazy intense workouts, and crazy intense workouts only. It can be any number of things that will also enhance your emotional, mental and psychological fitness.
Maybe it is time to break free from the battle waging herd at the gym and find your own way. I bet you'll have a lot more fun! What do you think?