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Monday, June 6, 2011

How Much Is Too Much?

We exercise - A LOT!  Ok, we're not triathletes or body builders but we put in a solid hour (at least) of hard-core, non-stop, sweat-inducing, body-altering work every day.  I'll be discussing our regiment in a later post.  I have definitely noticed a difference in my body structure, strength, and endurance but the bottom line is - it still hurts and maybe sometimes I just need a break.

Example: Yesterday Liza and I completed our fifth straight day of running, jumping, squatting, and doing ridiculous amounts of pushups all at a high paced tempo.  We were tired but, as usual, we felt happy just to get through the whole thing (Liza more successfully than me, lately).  Sore as ever, we took our recovery drinks, showered, and left for a brunch party.  While at the party, there were three 15 year old boys playing basketball and they asked me if I wanted to play.  Sure!  Forget the fact that I haven't played a real game of basketball in at least five years.  I've been eating great and exercising so I can do anything, right?  Well, I was a little rusty but I was playing better than I expected.  Then I began to breathe heavy.  Then my legs started to feel like Jell-O.  Then I couldn't jump to grab a rebound.  Then these little punks started running right past me.  I felt fine but I just couldn't keep up anymore.  I got home and discovered that I had pulled something in my chest/upper back which made exercise this morning not terribly efficient.  I am not in massive amounts of pain and I'm sure all will be well in a couple of days but this begs the question:

How much is too much?

I clearly understand the need to exercise every day (with the understanding that the body needs a day to simply rest or stretch instead of killing itself) but I am struggling with this question as well:

When do you push through with everything you've got and when do you listen to your body, take the hint, and let it go?

I clearly don't have the answer just yet because I either push through and sometimes regret it or I listen to my body, let it go, and feel like a lazy bum.  So, I turn to you all.  PLEASE create a profile, become a follower/friend, and throw in your opinions.  This is not just for me, but for all of us.  Maybe there are a ton of people reading this blog who are having the same issues and you are the one person who has the solution.  See?  You could be the one to solve everyone's problems.  What a cool thought!

As always, thank you for reading, tell your friends, and take care of yourselves!


  1. You gotta listen to your body. If you're on 'The Deadliest Catch' then MAYBE you HAVE to work through the pain. (Sorry, just watched the finale.) Otherwise, it's a fine line with 'no pain, no gain' on one side, and permanent damage at worst or a long recovery at best on the other.

  2. Offering no positive personal example, I can't help but think "What would cave man do?" Or even "what would pre-industrial man do?" Those are much closer to what nature made us for than our lives today. The baseline would be if we did all the physical things necessary to survive (draw water, gather, plant, harvest, hunt, build and take care of our shelter, warm ourselves when cold, cool ourselves when hot, cook, raise our young, care for our elders...) then (absent violent death or disease) we would be at our optimal health for a lifetime... So the question is maybe - what options do we have today for replicating the physical work of a normal active pre-industrial person? Packing it all into 1 intensive hour sounds efficient, but may not be very natural.