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Is your workout killing you?

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Working out and exercising are good for you, or so we are told. But not if you go overboard. Take this quiz to find out if you are over-doing it with the exercise, says Anindra Siqueira

With the array of workout “schools,” each with a different philosophy of staying fit and healthy, it’s easy to feel lost. Take our quiz to find out if your workout routine is keeping you from your fitness goals.

1. How often do you hit the gym and what kind of fitness training do you engage in?

a) Every day! I have a circuit of exercises throughout the week, each intense session targeting a different body part.

b) A few times a week. I exercise randomly on those areas that I want to improve. (Do you think that’s why I don’t get the most out of it?)

c) Every day, of course! And I focus only on my arms and chest! (I want to be a Schwarzenegger!)

 

2. You are exercising a particular part of your body (an isolated muscle group), and there’s pain. What kind of pain do you experience?

a) A sharp, stinging and unbearable pain! It’s like a toothache in my body!

b) The pain is mild, but I can bear it and continue. It only pains when I move in a certain way, though.

c) No pain at all! I just breeze through my workout without a care in the world.

 

3. It’s plank time, and your trainer is encouraging as always. You’ve pushed past the initial few minutes. Then what happens?

a) My muscles start shaking uncontrollably, and a lot! But my trainer says that’s normal.

b) There is some strain later on, but I stop (and take a break) when it gets intense.

c) My body is adapting well to the workout. I can barely feel any strain on my obviously superhuman muscles.

 

4. It’s been three days since you last worked out. How sore are you?

a) My body aches like something is eating away at my insides. (Help!)

b) There is little to no soreness.

I am ready for the next big push.

c) I normally don’t get to three days... My body is ready to work hard the very next day.

 

5. You’ve gone for an innocent jog or a casual run. Just for a few kilometres; nothing like a half marathon. What do you notice afterwards?

a) My ankles are swollen and my knees hurt, but I hear that that’s just part of exercising.

b) I am tired and slightly out of breath, but other than that, nothing is amiss. (Maybe I am not as fit as I thought.)

c) I am as fit as a horse, and could run two marathons! Back to back!

 

6. Your trainer is pushing you, as trainers normally do, and you start to feel a bit dizzy. What do you do?

a) My trainer knows best. I don’t say a word about it and continue on with the workout. (I have passed out a few times, though. Is that normal?)

b) I indicate that I need to stop, or at the very least, take a break. Most times, that would be the end of my session.

c) Dizziness is for babies! I am descended from Hercules himself! Nothing makes me feel dizzy.

 

7. You reserve your workouts for 6am, showering and heading to work after. What sort of day do you generally have?

a) Often, my body aches all day and I feel fatigued throughout the day.

b) I get tired and feel drained towards the end of the day, but I load up with a treat — something made of oozing chocolate!

c) I barely notice the effect of the workout, but that’s just because I am at peak fitness.

 

Mostly As There is almost certainly something wrong. You need to take a step back and assess — your workout routine and your aim! Are you expecting unrealistic results and pushing yourself to achieve them? Maybe you have a weight goal in mind. Whatever it is, you need to re-assess what you want, why you want it and whether it is realistic. Setting unrealistic goals and unbelievably high targets is a good way to fail.

Mostly Bs Although you may feel as though you are haphazard in your fitness, it turns out that that might be best. You don’t need extreme workouts and high-intensity exercises to stay healthy and fit. As long as you work out regularly and listen to your body, you’ll be fine, and fit too.

Mostly Cs It seems as though you are super human, and that putting yourself through your paces comes easily. But be warned! You could be on a path to breakdown. Your body can only take so much. You may reach a point where you could do some serious damage and you may not even see it coming. On the other hand, maybe your workout is just not doing enough for you. Talk to your personal trainer about switching things up a bit.

Work out with a passion

Assess

Make sure that your workout routine is actually giving you something, whether it is a fitter body or a sense of satisfaction. Ultimately, you should be happy.

Change it up

It pays to frequently change up your routine. This exercises your body in different ways and doesn’t allow it to settle into a system of working out, which means you won’t stagnate in your fitness.

Get a mix

Just strength training or only cardio won’t do you any good. You need a healthy mix of different kinds of exercises. Don’t exercise based on how many calories you will lose, avoid setting target biceps size.

Get mindful

Try yoga or other workouts that won’t put as much pressure on your body.

Take a break

This is as important as the actual working out. Give your body a break when you feel like you’ve been working out too hard or if you’re unwell. Never push yourself too hard or beyond your limit.

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