PostHeaderIcon Keep your workouts SMART!

Too Much of a Good Thing can be Bad.

We have all heard the term “overtraining”, but what does the term really mean? Well, “overtraining” means different things to different people depending on which sport or activity you’re involved in. Mostly it means too much, too often and too intense.

working out smartIf you are a cycler, you will understand how great it is to see your average speed go up or your time over a distance go down and how good that makes you feel. It would be easy to increase your training intensity and frequency too quickly while looking for even better results. Of course, rationally we all know this is a mistake. But, the desire for an even better fitness level and that “feel good” chemical (endorphins) can cause us to do just a bit too much…. And then ouch.

Maybe you’ve had this experience. You have been working out or even teaching aerobics or spin class for some time and it has changed your weight, fitness level and body a lot and you like the changes! Then one day, you decided if once a day is doing some good then twice a day might be even better. I mean, after all, if one is good, two is better right? Wrong! The result can be stress and strain even tendonitis which can take forever to heal.

working out smartNow, we all need to understand why more is not necessarily better. The key is to workout SMART! Ok, what does this mean?

First: rest is very important.
Many people strive to exercise every day of the week. Whether you workout in a gym or at home, you might have a daily goal of an hour of exercise. That’s great in theory but you need to give your body time to recover from your workouts. Muscles need rest and working the same muscles in the same way too often results in injury and a reduction in performance. When you work out, your muscles burn calories at an increased rate. As a result, your body loses fluids, its energy stores, and your muscles develop microscopic tears, especially during hard workouts. If you only give yourself 24 hours to replace everything you’ve lost and repair damaged muscle tissue, you are decreasing the effectiveness of a workout. Also when a muscle is overtired, the load is taken into the joint and joints are not designed for load they are designed for movement. Tendonitis and joint pain are pretty common indicators of overtraining.

working out smartSecond: varied workouts.
Fitness instructors recommend doing different sports or fitness activities. The alternative is using a variation in your workout which can be accomplished in a variety of ways. One common way is to work different muscle groups on different days. Another method is to change the way in which a particular exercise is performed so as to train the muscles differently. An example of this would be to change the speed or intensity of your workout, like very slow one day then faster the next time the muscle group is worked. In cycling this could mean a hard endurance workout one day and short speed intervals the next.

There’s lots of ways to vary your workouts. Check out some books
or talk to a Fitness Trainer if you need some ideas. You will not only help prevent injury, but you will see changes in your strength and muscle development.

Keep your workouts SMART!

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"Cycling and fitness" is a great place to learn more about the sport and how to stay fit and enjoy the sport no matter what your age is.

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