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Paying Attention to Your Body

I didn’t realize I was getting sick, until today, now that I am feeling 100 percent better, (and I still have a left over cough!) Next time-if there is a next time-I will pay more attention to how I feel and not dismiss feelings of stress, soreness and exhaustion as “normal.”

The first thing to be aware of is stress. Your body does not differentiate between types of stress-family stress, work stress, and the stress you place on your body at the gym may seem different and feel different, but physiologically, your body reacts the same way to the presence of stress. Your body has a finite ability to react and adapt to stressors and when you have maxed out you are more likely to catch that cold you were exposed to.

When you feel stressed you are stressed.

This may seem very simplistic, but looking back on the previous weeks, there were many, many stressors that created the perfect storm and sent my body into survival mode, affecting my ability to eat well, sleep well, and recover. How do I know? Here are a few clues:

  • I was exhausted BUT I could not sleep more than 2 hrs at a time-for several days, which made me more exhausted.
  • I started losing my appetite
  • I lost my taste for wine! (sounds funny, but for real, this should have been a clue)
  • I was really, really sore from my gym workouts-sore beyond normal sore.
  • I was very moody and anxious (and very short tempered)

You may think that one thing led to the other, and maybe it did, but it doesn’t matter which came first, the chicken or the egg, my body was unable to deal with the stresses and demands put on it and it all came crashing down.

When something doesn’t feel normal, it’s time to take a day off.

This is so hard for me to do, but so necessary. And by a day off, it may mean taking a day off from work, the gym, and/or running.

So what did I learn?

Although I leep a running diary in which I simply log my running and workouts, I don’t add a whole lot of detail about how I feel in general. So one of my new goals-starting today-is to keep a workout journal. More than just logging sets, reps, weight, miles and pace, I want to start tracking how I feel on a day to day basis-how my body feels before, during and after a workout. I have big plans and the last thing I want or need is to let some nasty virus creep up on me that prevents me from living my life to the fullest each and every day.


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