By Brian Nadon
Regular workouts are supposed to increase your muscle mass, decrease your depression, and lower your body fat, right? Well, yes, with a caveat. Some folks ramp it up too much especially when they start a new training regimen to prepare themselves for, say, a cycling tour across Canada/World, grueling marathon or triathlon. Overdoing your workouts can actually lead to diminished strength, depression, and increased body fat—your body’s way of begging for a break. While your body can handle a particularly tough workout, it also needs time to recover from the stress overload.
What you should do? Watch yourself for mood changes! Depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and irritability are common when your body is over-stressed physically. Those same stress hormones you release when you’re emotionally stressed are also released when you’re physically overloaded.
The best way to recover from that particularly tough physical workout? A day or two of rest followed by a light bout of exercise. Also make a point to get at least eight hours of sleep a night which your body will need to repair those tiny muscle tears that occur during workouts and enable your body to build new muscle. Good nutrition is also key: Think lean protein (fish, skinless chicken breast, tofu), whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Or do what I do, cuddle with my Ginger. 🙂