My favorite part about the book, although quite technical–packed with studies and endurance athlete jargon, was its intuitive approach.
“Ditch the workout plan!” was a running (pun intended;) theme, and listen more to the body.
Not enough sleep? Postpone your hard run.
Not recovered from Monday’s workout? Chill out on Wednesday.
I’m constantly preaching in my client practice this concept of living in alignment, and yet workout stress was not something I addressed often enough.
Just last month I was writing about Dialing Back the Diehard for myself, but now I know even better just how much and why. Even my “dial back” wasn’t sufficient I’ve since learned; low and behold I was still overtraining.
Although working out is terrific for mental/emotional stress reduction and overall health, we very rarely think about it as being a stress on the body.
Many of us, including me–a personal trainer, don’t think about the hormonal roller coaster our bodies cycle through in order to recover after a hard workout, much less on little sleep and an already broken down body. In many cases, we’re actually doing more harm than good. I know I was.
That “no pain, no gain,” mentality likely needs an overhaul.
In Primal Endurance there is still plenty of room for tough workouts though. Some of its strictest followers are ultra-marathoners to boot. It’s just a much smarter way of training, with plenty of rest in between.
As in most things, I love to test it on myself before I give full endorsement. Right now I’m a week in and have already seen vast improvements, but I’ll wait to share those in due time.
More importantly than working out, I’m eating more intuitively than I have in many years.
Working out and eating healthily, I thought I was doing everything right, but in comparison it’s clear that I was overdoing it both in the gym and in the kitchen.
Today I did a 20 min. strict strength workout, including warm-up, that sadly, just a couple weeks ago would have seemed insufficient. And it was awesome.
Even in my group fitness classes, which I adore, I’ve been practicing taking it down a notch.
The book also emphasized play that I love: walking, recreation sports, dancing, fun, natural movement.
We do our bodies no favors by busting our butts in the gym only to sit on them for the rest of the day!
As promised, I will continue to do more homework and report back. In the meantime, tune into your body. Remember, sleep is king!
Stress, even in the name of exercise, is still stress. Do your mind/body a favor and don’t push when everything else is screaming rest.
A walk can be incredibly restorative, and give you the healthy shot of Dopamine (happy hormone) we’re after.
More to come!
I leave you with this: Where have you found the benefits in your life of “less is more”?