At Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, Florida, FL, I get a lot of clients at that ask, “Should I push myself or pace myself?” There’s no answer that fits all situations. If you’re just starting a fitness program, pushing yourself too hard can actually cause a set-back. On the other hand, not pushing yourself won’t always give you the results you want. Whether to push or pace depends on you, your knowledge and your goals.
You need to know the proper form before you push through the workout.
Getting into shape can start slower at first, while you’re learning the proper form for each exercise. If your form is bad, it can minimize the benefits of the workout or even cause injury. For younger people, it’s important, but for older individuals it’s far more important. The older you are and the more out of shape, the slower you tend to heal. Starting a new program can be exhilarating, but it’s also the time you need to be easier on yourself.
Don’t push yourself to the point of stressing your body.
You’ll get faster results if you workout hard, but not if you do it too often. If you’re doing strength training, you need to rest your muscles and allow them to heal. Strength training makes micro tears in your muscles, and they need time to repair. It can suppress the immune system for as much as 72-hours. If you’re doing strength training every day, you don’t give your muscles an opportunity to heal. That can create set backs in your program. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, your muscles need a time for recovery.
You need to know how hard you’re really working.
While you might feel like you’re working hard, there are easy ways to measure your level of intensity. If you can talk while you’re working out, with complete sentences and not just guttural grunts, you’re at a moderate pace. The same is true for singing. Try a few bars of your favorite song, if it flows freely, you may need to push a little harder. Know your body. If you feel like you really need a break, take it, especially if you’re new to exercise, have a medical condition or are a senior.
- Maybe you can’t workout as hard as you want, but do something. It’s better than nothing. If you work your body hard, you’ll get in shape faster, but even a moderate workout helps improve your fitness. Don’t give up. Do something.
- When people first start a workout program, they often push too hard. That can cause muscles to ache for days and can be a deterrent to future workouts. Don’t push too hard at first.
- Taking it easier at first doesn’t mean you have to do that forever. As you get fitter and learn proper form, you can start to push yourself more and get more benefits from each hour at the gym.
- Our trainers can help adjust the workout to your fitness level. You won’t have to worry. They’ll adjust the workout to your level of fitness and help you understand when to pace yourself or push yourself.
For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness