|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 29, 2011 at 3:50 PM|
Exercise: If it’s comfortable, it’s not working
When you are considering your exercise routine, remind yourself, “If it is comfortable, it is not working.” If you aren’t breathing hard, getting tired, pink in the face and sore the next day, it is not working. You need a challenge. Pushing a little harder is usually mind over matter. Your body begins to tell you, “this is challenging, maybe it is time to stop.” Don’t listen to that fear. If you are walking, start by adding 30 seconds of jogging and return to walking for 2 minutes. Add a little more each time. If you think you can’t jog, try it anyway. The majority of people are surprised when they realize actually can jog or do some type of higher intensity exercise.
Physiologically, when you start to do something that is harder than what you normally do, your body is slow to respond. You are experiencing oxygen deficit. The first three to five minutes of cardio always feel a little harder. Your legs feel like lead and your lungs feel like there is molasses sitting in the bottom lobe. Your body is not getting the oxygen it needs yet to continue the exercise you are doing. The worst thing you can do is stop, but unfortunately that is what most people do. Their lungs and legs tell their brain, “This is uncomfortable, stop.” If you will just press on for a couple more minutes, mind over matter, your legs will loosen up and begin to feel better because they are getting the oxygen they need. Your lungs will expand with ease and distribute oxygen efficiently as your body adapts to this beginning phase of exercise. This oxygen deficit is normal and even trained athletes experience it every time they begin exercise. The time it takes to get through the deficit period (first 3-5 minutes of exercise) decreases, but never goes away as you become more trained. Oxygen deficit is never characterized by a racing heart beat or tightness in the chest, those are signs that you should stop exercising. Of course, you should get your doctor’s approval to begin any new exercise program.
If your exercise routine is comfortable, it is not working. People who see changes through exercise say crazy things like, “I’m so sore it hurts to walk, but it feels good.” They know that if they are comfortable, the routine isn’t working. If they feel tired during a workout or are sore the next day, they can rest assured that they are getting results from their workouts. They will lose weight (with proper eating) and they will see physique changes. They own the idea that if it is comfortable it is not working and they love the idea that if they are uncomfortable it IS working. If you are not able to push yourself or just need some new ideas, consider hiring a professional fitness coach to help you.