Archives for posts with tag: exercise abuse

Yesterday at volleyball someone on the opposing team missed a pass and blamed it on being 38. She said when she got to 40 it would be all over.  One of the women on my team happens to be 50, so as you can imagine remarks began coming in from all over the place all in good fun.  The 38 year old said that she really thought it was great that we were all out there still playing, and hoped we all would still be out there together when we are old and gray. This got me thinking even more since it was a subject that already has been on my mind.  What’s my end game?

When you think about your ultimate goal it changes your perspective.  I have been playing on this particular volleyball league for 18 years already! I started it after my college career ended and have been playing ever since. I want to be one of those old, gray haired ladies out on the court!

In physical therapy (almost a year ago) I saw tons of people  that had lost mobility in some way or another.  Some were the result of accidents or other issues,  but most of them just could not function the way they wanted to.  I saw two main things:  loss of strength and flexibility.  Sure this is common knowledge, health “officials”  tell you that this will happen so you need to do X,Y, and Z in order to combat ageing, but I saw it in a very real situation.  I can also see it in my parents. When you see people struggling to do every day tasks it brings home the message.

Prior to this volleyball game it was something I had been thinking about for a while; I might need to change up my training.  Extreme workouts are not for me anymore.  I saw very small, isolated movements that produced strength enough to change function. If I want to be on the court or running a race when I am much, much older I need to train for that.  Exercise for me was mostly about calorie burning in the past.  Now I try to think of it in terms of sustainability.

I am not lying down. I still run, do organized sports, yoga, and strength train, but I do them in a way to help my body with strength and endurance and not wear it out.  In my 20’s I never stretched. Now I devote part of my workout time for it.  It is so, so important.  Things change as you get older.  I wish I could go back and talk to my younger self, but she probably would not have listened anyway.

So what’s your end game?

Since working on my intuitive eating, I sometimes question my workout mode.  I have problems with anxiety.  I think it is one of my main triggers for overeating (that and doing things I don’t want to do as a close second). A good workout helps with anxiety for me.

I struggle with what a normal workout is. If you pay attention to any health and fitness news you will see that the popular workouts that are out there are pretty extreme. I know, I used to partake in them all, so my views of normal exercise are somewhat skewed at times.

I have always admired a former athlete.  She retired from professional sports a while back but still puts herself out there now and then.  She is always committed to health and fitness, or is she?

I have read that she will workout for two to five hours a day.  Is this disordered? It was a shock to me. Am I admiring a person that abuses exercise? I know everyone’s fitness level will vary.  Maybe this type of commitment is just normal exercise for her and would be too much for me?

I guess why I wonder is because I have decided to up my game.  I am training for an up coming running race (I know me and every other blogger out there).  I am not telling you this for yay me, look how virtuous I am etc. I just felt like I needed the challenge and peace of mind it can bring for me.

I was getting a bit bored with my normal workout routine and the thought of this race really excited me.  After having gone through physical therapy almost a year ago (due to a muscle imbalance exaggerated during pregnancy) I feel like I am ready.

My daughter has recently started school.  I am not the most social creature. I think I could (I know I could) be defined as an introvert.  Her entrance into school brings all sorts of anxiety for me.  I am not worried about her in this department, she does great, its me.  I have to go to birthday parties, school functions, and help out in the classroom.  These are all fun things that I enjoy when I am doing them, but they do bring on anxiety big time for me.  Running helps me manage it a bit.

I don’t want to trade one disorder for another.  I think as long as you are excited and happy to do something (not feel like you have to), can take days off when needed (sick, injured, etc), and don’t feel exhausted afterward it is okay.

Is my fitness idol disordered? I guess she can only answer that. I have to remember it’s all about me.  No comparisons. Which brings me to another small thought.

On my idols website she has a guest post about a woman that lost weight and gives her “secrets” about weight loss. One of the points was to find friends or surround yourself with people that are thinner than you. Really?! How awful! First of all you don’t know how they got thin or remain thin.  They could have a major eating disorder, and you are admiring them for it and basing your friendship on their appearance!

So maybe I should not admire my former role model. That hurts.  It goes way back to the mid 90’s, but I do like my new perspective.

Keep your filters on people, don’t buy in to all the diet/crazy exercise hype. Just keep it light and fun for you.

Have a good one 🙂

What is healthy living?

To me its a balance of everything.

People I have admired have a fantastic physique but is achieving it by working out 2-5 hours a day, six days a week healthy?

If they are a retired athlete and they still keep it all up is that still healthy?

I ask because I wonder how much is too much.  If I worked out 2-5 hours a day for six days a week my family would think I had a problem, but if a retired athlete does it its ok?

I have had problems with my IT band for a very long time (four years and counting).  I did see someone about it two years ago without any results. I am seeing a new physical therapist (I wish I had done this years ago!).  He has determined that yes I do have a tight IT band, but it’s not from overuse like I thought.

It’s due to a weak glute on my left side which causes the IT band to do all the work.  My leg on that side does not fully extend either so its like I am walking in a squat position on the left side eternally.  Things would get sore! It’s also creating patellar tracking issues.  When I walk I look completely normal! It’s just slight enough to cause problems.  He said I have probably had this for a very long time and pregnancy just brought it out (extra weight, carrying a baby and toddler on that side etc.)

With strengthening and stretching it should get back to normal.  He thinks there is no reason why I should not be able to run once everything is worked out.

So it all makes me wonder.  I have been very limited with what I have been able to do for exercise for the last year.  I thought my issues were due to over use. It’s not.  When I am all healed I still want to have balance.  I have worked very hard to get to where I am with intuitive eating. Is running a marathon ok? Do people who run marathons abuse exercise?

I just think its funny how a ton of exercise for some people (famous fitness gurus) makes them seem noble, and for others  (the rest of us) they are seen as disordered.

Where do you draw the line?