Category: detox

The Do and Don’ts for Avoiding Exercise Burnout

The Do and Don’ts for Avoiding Exercise Burnout

images[1]Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Thanks Wikipedia!

We all experience burnout whether it’s at work, home, with family, friends, diet, and even exercise, maybe especially exercise.

Consider how many gym memberships purchased in January go unused in July, or how all you can think about is a cheeseburger two weeks into a new diet plan. Burnout can happen over years or in a matter of days.

Certain habits or lack of certain habits will accelerate the burnout process.

 

So if you don’t want to suffer from exercise burnout….

DO NOT Wing It

Failing to plan is planning to fail, as the saying goes, and creating lofty, long-term goals without establishing checkpoints along the way is failing to plan. Shoot for the moon, but include intermediate and short-term goals to assure that you remain on track to achieve your long-term goals.

Example:

Long-term goal: I will finish a marathon this year.

Intermediate goal: I will finish a half marathon within the next six months.

Short-term goal: Within the next week, I will jog three times for a minimum of 10 minutes each run.

Writing goals down (on paper, using a smart phone app or online software program) is an absolute must.

DO NOT Forget to Self-Assess

Your goal-setting process should include assessing weak links in the chain and how to address them. Using the example above of planning to finish a marathon, short-term goals could include completing some form of a fitness test, such as a one-mile run for time, gait analysis, nutrition consultation, body composition analysis, etc.

Example:

Short-term Goal No. 2: Within the next two weeks, I will complete a one-mile run for time to assess my current fitness status.

Intermediate goals should re-evaluate these tests every few weeks to validate your exercise regimen and determine what tweaks you may need to make. Modifying goals along the way (to account for “life”) is a  key to achievement and  sustained motivation. Altering your long-term goals can also be critical; for example, switching from the full marathon to the half marathon two weeks before a race is better than not showing up at all.

DO NOT Skimp on Sleep

Research suggests those who sleep less than six hours per night are at greater risk for burnout. Too little sleep can cause fatigue, impaired mental function and increased sensitivity to stress, as well as decreased motivation and physical performance. In a busy world, we seem to prioritize so much at the expense of ZZZs. There are usually enough excused to go around for not exercising, don’t add “too tired” to the list.

DO Take Time to Truly Relax

Multiple experts agree that a key to avoiding burnout from your job is being able to turn off work when you get home. Likewise, tuning out from exercise from time to time is essential to maintaining a long-term fitness program. Expert coaches suggest taking at least one day per week completely off from structured exercise and including another day or two of restorative activities (yoga, hikes, naps and Sunday football couch potato-ing all count as restoration). Every few months, take an entire week off, and just relax.

DO Find a Sport You Enjoy

Some people hate running – I would not suggest a marathon training program for those individuals. The key to longevity of an activity or fitness program is enjoyment; sometimes you must ignore what your friends are doing or the most popular class at your gym, and simply do what makes you happy. If it makes you sweat and also makes you smile, it’s the right activity for you. I still have a Groupon for 4 Pilate’s classes hanging over my head, because my friends think Pilate’s is great…. I am a gym rat and always will be.

DO NOT Overdo It

A fine line exists between what fitness experts call over-reaching and over-training. Over-reaching involves applying the overload principle to exercise, i.e. increasing the intensity, duration and/or frequency of exercise to create positive stress on your body that will gradually result in fitness gains. When over-reaching, you should feel tired and sore, but two to three days of adequate recovery should cure that.

Over-training occurs when the increase in physical activity is too much and recovery is insufficient. It can involve loss of sleep, lethargy, injury and a lack of fitness gains despite an increased workload. When in doubt, listen to your body – go hard when you feel good, and rest up when you feel overworked.

DO NOT Live for Repetition

Imposing the exact same stress demand on our bodies habitually does not result in positive gains. Doing the same activities each day or the same exercise routine will lead to a physical plateau and eventual mental burnout. Not to mention it gets really boring! Even if you’re a creature of habit, add variety to your favorite activity… it may be a change of scenery, faster or slower run times, switching up the free weights for machines, taking a Zumba class instead of Yoga, or whatever.. A change of pace and scenery may keep your muscles honest and your mind fresh.

The path toward burnout is can be averted. Self-assessment, goal planning, adequate sleep and recovery, variety and, most importantly, enjoyment can keep you pointed in the direction of lifelong fitness and goal accomplishment.

Detoxing Your Body While Losing Baby Fat

Detoxing Your Body While Losing Baby Fat

I am so excited to welcome Mansi as my guest poster this week. Read on for realistic tips and strategies for detoxing and losing fat.

 

Two days back, while having my usual fruit salad I wondered what could be the difference between fasting and dieting, since I call my monthly detox diet a “fruit fast”.

Just to bring things into perspective, let me tell you, I’m not allowed to fast and considering my present weight, dieting is something I don’t need.

“Fasting is where you shun all kinds of food items and eat only once a day, but in dieting the food items in every meal are restricted to a few basic ones.”

When I think of days like Ramadan, Lent, Yom Kippur, etc. I realize that there is a spiritual element associated with fasting. But that’s not the case with dieting.

We do it just to lose weight.

However, I do it to flush toxins out of my body every month. Beginning each month with a clean slate feels amazing.

That brings me to the nine months of pregnancy, where you get a free ticket to eat whatever you want and are exempted from any kind of judgment on your weight or shape. That’s certainly a bliss.

Although, my source of worry is the toxin build up in the body.

Ideally, one should wait for a 6 month period to begin the postpartum weight loss schedule. And that does make sense. After all, breastfeeding helps you lose weight too.

Still, we want to work on dropping pounds from the day one and get back the body we once owned.

So ladies! Sit tight, for I’m about to tell you three simple steps to get there without having to compromise on your baby’s nutrition or your own health.

Step 1: Get Real

Yeah, you heard me! Get real!

Gulp in this fact that you will not get your pre-pregnancy body back in the exact same measures, unless you are Kim K. So, are you?

I knew it.

Hence, do not push yourself physically or mentally. Keep calm, because what might not happen in 6 months postpartum, will happen in the coming year when you’ll be running around the house to feed your toddler.

Step 2: Go for a Fruit Fasting

As I already told, that’s my personal detox ritual. I stuck to this one after having tried a lot of others like the lemonade detox or green smoothies which always, just always left me craving and lethargic.

How I fruit fast every month, for three consecutive days –

  1. Take fresh seasonal fruits and cut them into cubes. The colorful the platter, the better.
  2. Sprinkle a little salt for taste.
  3. Poke in fork, smell each cube and relish it.
  4. If I feel thirsty, I go for coconut water, which is again detoxifying and nourishing. Plus, it does wonders for my skin and hair. I completely avoid milk or any kind of fats during this time.
  5. I also make it a point to drink at least a big glass of pomegranate juice or ABC miracle drink.

If you try this out, remember not to mix sweet fruits like banana with sour ones like orange and grape, as these interfere with each other’s digestion and end up producing more toxins.

Step 3: Boost the detox and weight loss

I pride myself in calling a yoga devotee and practice it five times a week. Working out regularly would not only make you fitter but would also aid in the elimination of toxic substances.

Here, I’m listing five yoga poses that specifically work towards this.

Pose 1: Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanmuktasana)     Wind Relieving Pose

  1. Begin by lying down on your back. Keep your arms on your sides and body relaxed.
  2. Slowly lift up one leg and bring your bent knee close to your abdomen. In an attempt to do so, if your other knee bends a little bit, it is okay.
  3. Now, raise your arms to hug your bent knee and bring it closer to your chest. Hold your breath and this position for 5-10 seconds. Exhale and release.
  4. Repeat the above steps with the other leg too.

Benefits other than detox – reduction in belly fat

Pose 2: Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) Cobra Pose

  1. Lie down on your stomach and relax till you are able to breathe normally.
  2. When you are comfortable, fold both your arms to place your hands just below your shoulders.
  3. As you inhale, push down the floor and lift up your torso in air like a snake. Remember to keep your toes lying flat on ground with soles facing up.
  4. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, exhale and release.
  5. Perform it twice every day on an empty stomach.

Benefits other than detox – toned back and stronger arms

Pose 3: Half Lord of fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)Half Lord of fishes Pose

  1. Sit with your legs stretched out in front, back straight, shoulders relaxed and arms on the sides.
  2. Fold your left leg and rest your left foot beneath your right hip.
  3. Now fold your right leg and place your right feet close to your left hip. Your sole should lie flat on floor with knee pointing upwards.
  4. Twist your upper body towards left and try to grab hold of your right ankle with your right hand. Feel a stretch on your right abdomen. Enhance this by taking your left arm back to touch your back.
  5. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds. Exhale and release.
  6. Repeat it on the other side too. Practice it twice every day.

Benefits other than detox – disappearance of love handles

Pose 4: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)surya-namaskar-sun-salutation

Sun salutation is an intense yet incredibly helpful sequence of 12 yoga poses. It is not possible to list all its steps here, so follow this link for complete steps and breathing technique.

Benefits other than detox – a full body stretching and strengthening workout in 5 minutes

 

Pose 5: Corpse Pose (Savasana)Corpse Pose

This is a relaxing and rejuvenating pose which helps eliminate all the ‘mental’ toxins which get accumulated inside our minds. All you need to do is lie down on the floor in a relaxed position and focus on your breathing. Turn your head towards a side, close your eyes and relax.

Must practice – Bellows breathing or Bhastrika pranayama

This breathing technique cleanses up sinuses and helps exhale toxins out from the respiratory system. However, those with migraine or blood pressure issues should not perform it.

Initial position: Sit in a comfortable position, either cross legged or on a chair. Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Bend your elbows to bring your fists closer to your shoulders. This way your fists face up the sky and elbows towards the floor.

  1. Inhale deep on a count of 3 and raise your arms in the air spreading your fingers apart.
  2. Now exhale in a short quick bursts on just one count and forcefully bring your hands back to the shoulders making a fist.
  3. Do this 20 times in a row. Discontinue immediately if you feel light headedness.

Well, that’s all for the postpartum detox – A diet you can follow and a fast you are allowed to do, plus a simple yoga workout to leg up your weight loss plans.

Try them out and let me know how it felt.

 

Author Bio:

Hi! I’m Mansi, an ashtangi at home and an Editor at an online health magazine. Dabbling with health and fitness news is my work while playing around with poses and poetry my passion. Reach out to me at @iam_mansi or add me to your Google circles and stay in touch.

 

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