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How much is too much?

So when do we know how much is too much??

Having spent so many years pounding the pavements for very lengthy periods, (and going through running shoes at a very rapid rate), it was a huge life changing experience when i was forced to STOP running altogether. Prognosis = a worn out hip. Replacement required…and I wasn’t even 40!!

Time now to sit down and reassess what went wrong, and what I could now do to still get that “buzz.”
As I have mentioned in an earlier blog, I am blessed with a pretty crappy skeleton.
Running for me had become a big NO, NO…..but at age 40 years young, and many years or running, what does one do?       Walking then became the next obsession. For at least 90 minutes each day regardless of weather conditions I walked. Crazy, I know and totally unnecessary. Owing to a lack of education regarding a balanced approach to exercise, my belief was “no pain, no gain” and unless I flogged myself on a daily basis I believed I would get FAT!!

Fast forward to today and I have finally learnt that it is the quality and intensity of the exercise that actually makes the difference. Not the HOURS spent on fruitless workouts of little or no value.

I’m sure you have all read my daughter’s brilliantly written blogs and can appreciate the amount of reading and self-education she has ammassed over a few years; as opposed to her mum at that age. It is because of her healthy approach to well-being in all respects that Nadia will avoid all the unpleasant operations I have undergone and subsequent “revision” operations yet to come!!

The mental attitude is as important as the physical.
I can finally accept that “beating” myself up for hours each day 7 days a week DOESN’T WORK! That is precisely what is behind the “flog yourself” mentality.

This past week for example, I have walked 45-60 minutes on 3 occasions combined with 1-hour daily strength work inclusive of some stationary cycling (essential for my knees). Bear in mind that I work in a fitness centre so the daily workouts can be incorporated into my lifestyle with relative ease.

Encouraging my clients to do daily exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes up to an hour, has proven to be a success. Sure, it may take a little time and patience to get one’s head around the concept of a reduced but more efficient training time. Once tried it can be performed either indoors, outdoors, within group fitness classes, as flexibilty-focused work, or even a favoured sport and the routine becomes quite easy to maintain.

Further to this; variety is also a key element as it avoids boredom and can shock the body into using different muscle groups on different days.
I see and know certain (not all) runners who to this day continue down a path of self destruction within their own bodies. They seem to be a similar “vintage” to myself and sadly still have the mind-set that this is the only option available to them in terms of “weight loss” or ” achieving the runners “high”. It is quite simply – wear and tear. Whatever the sport or choice in exercise this is a huge issue; of body and mind.

You see it all over the streets…in spite of strapped knees, ankles, aching backs, hips misaligned, so many of us soldier on regardless of the pain. We must all learn to listen to our bodies, to respect them and treat them as we would an expensive car. A certain amount of discomfort is acceptable though pain is not.

I saw a wonderful phrase today which went something like; “our bodies are the vehicles that carry us throughout our lives” and on that note everyone – be well and stay well!!

Viv xx

One Comment Post a comment
  1. What a wonderful – and enlightening post!
    I think people need to hear stories like yours. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that mental and physical pain. But it sounds like you’re a much stronger and versatile person because of it. Ironically, my most recent post mirrors your sentiment :
    I am 51 years old and while I know that it’s en vogue for runners to focus on all the runner lingo and training to become the best runner they can be, I prefer to listen to my body and run for the sheer joy and freedom of running.

    Thank you again for this article 🙂 Absolutely inspiring


    March 5, 2013

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