"So, do you workout everyday?", a question that I get asked by my clients and BODmembers all the time. My answer is always, "Yes," followed by them usually looking at me sideways.
Then I elaborate with "I move my body every single day, to me movement is as essential as brushing my teeth. But, do I workout every day -- train until I can't see straight and need to crawl home -- no!" Well at least, not anymore. I learned that lesson the hard way when I ran my first and only marathon.
Ah yes, the summer of the marathon. I had just graduated from high school and I was about to turn 18. I decided to celebrate that major milestone by running a marathon. 42 km of pure fun! I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or how to build a training plan. My dad had run a marathon when he was 26 told me to train he had just ran every day, I looked at a couple of training plans online and decided to combine them. Classic A-type, overachiever behaviour.
I thought that if I double trained there would be absolutely no way I wouldn't be ready to run this bad boy race. I ran every single day for 11 weeks straight. For the first few weeks I felt ok but about halfway in I started to feel constantly tired and ferociously hungry.
Looking back I can clearly see I was completely overtraining. I'd come home from my runs and continue to run straight to the fridge!! It is kind of ironic that instead of losing weight while marathon training, like 99% of the world, I actually managed to gain 15 lbs!
Now I completely trust the science that it is impossible to outrun a bad diet. I literally tried to do just that and failed miserably! I believe more than ever that exercise should be a celebration of what our bodies can do, not a punishment for what we just ate or plan on eating later.
When you use exercise as a counter for poor nutritional choices -- like my pint of ice cream a day habit during the marathon summer - it is almost impossible to do successfully. It is super simple to consume 100 empty calories, working them off however is a completely different story.
So, should you workout every single day? The best answer I can give you is to learn to listen to what your body needs. What does that look like for me now? I run 2-3x a week, I strength train 2-3x a week and I practice yoga 1-2x a week. If life gets crazy I'll try to work my workout into my day, bike to a client, run to my studio BOD and teach a little sweaty, and if not who cares. It ultimately all adds up.
Bottom line -- be mobile, move, jiggle, sweat, it's all good. Remember nutrition is number one and you've got this.
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