To workout or not workout – that is the question.
Normally the answer would be YES because most of us out there need to be exercising more. But what happens when we working out on a regular basis then stress gets thrown into the mix? What then? It’s very likely that someone at some point has told you to get in the gym during a stressful time, to work out the jitters. Or that exercise will help spark those endorphins. Or that working out with help alleviate the stress that’s going on in your life.
But here’s the thing – exercise IS stress. You’re putting stress on the body so that it can break down to build back up again. Lifting is stress, running is stressing, cycling is stress, climbing is stress. It’s all stress on the body no matter how you put it. So when a stressful time in your life arrives and your body is in fight or flight mode, putting another stressor on top of it may just amplify the stress at hand.
This topic is very close to my heart at the moment because my little pup Jackson is still in the vet hospital. I checked him in 15 days ago, he underwent emergency neck surgery, then he had post-surgery complications. We ended up moving him to a different (much better) location who began turning his health around when we thought all hopes were lost. These two weeks have been tremendously stressful. We’ve had many, many sleepless nights wondering if he would make it through the night, wondering what our next bill will be, and wondering when we will be able to take him home. I’ve had a complete pit in my stomach for 2 weeks straight and I can see the stress take a toll on my body every day. And because all of that, I’ve taken time off from the gym. The last thing I needed during this painful time is to put my body in another state of stress.
If you’re a person who works out regularly, it can feel nerve-racking to imagine taking time off from the gym. It’s part of your routine, it makes your body feel great, so why would you let go of something that gives you life every day? Well, the answer is simple – your body needs time off. It needs all the energy it has to get through the extremely stressful time. And since you have been working out regularly, your body will thank you for the time off and for letting your body mend. Then you’ll be able to get back to feeling let yourself once this state of stress settles.
Remember – it’s OK to take time off. It’s ok to let go of your routine and give your body something different. Stress is part of the human experience and it sucks to go through, but we can learn to listen to our bodies and care for them so the stress can be minimized moving forward. The gym will always be there, but the stress won’t. So calm TF down for a second so your body can heal.
Thank you for listening to my Monday rant. Now I’m off to feed Jackson some steak in his oxygen kennel at the CSU Vet Hospital!!
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