We’ve all heard that Pilates is “good” for us. Experts spout a myriad of benefits to getting your sweat on. They range from disease prevention to weight management, with the added bonus that it will make you look good in skinny jeans. So, while we know that we “should” get our weekly workouts in- when does something good for you go bad? Here are my signs that you are working too hard:
- You are so sore you can’t _______(bend, sit, pee, or tie your shoes) the next day. Soreness happens, butbalance and consistency take work. The pain you feel after killing yourself at the gym, comes from your body trying to repair tiny tears in the muscles fibers. While some soreness will be normal especially after vigorous exercise, too much can indicate injury. Plus- being incapacitated will make it almost impossible to make your workout the next day, and then maybe the next, and the next. You get the idea.
- You aren’t having a good time. I don’t know about you, but getting to the Pilates studio or the yoga mat is challenging enough as it is. If I’m forcing myself towards an activity that I absolutely loathe, then I’m more likely to skip it. I believe fitness should be fun. Walk the dog because you get so much joy from Fido. Put on some tunes and dance until you can barely speak. Do it because it makes you happy and feel magnificent.
- You’re should-ing on yourself. Most of my life I’ve battled a case of the should-s. I should have my leg higher on that battement (dancer speak for a big ole’ kick.) I should be 5-10lbs thinner. I should be more muscular, flexible, proficient, etc. When you feel like working out and being fit becomes a measure of how loved and accepted you are by yourself, it’s time to change that record. Like food, exercise can get obsessive and destructive if you let it. Consider it a practice in self acceptance and just cool it.
One of my mentors, a life-long Pilates instructor and master teacher Bob Leikens, told me one day in a particular grueling workout, while I was gritting and scrunching my face, “ Lindsay relax- it’s only Pilates”. When you find yourself making faces and gritting your teeth stop and ask yourself, “Am I making this a big deal?” Remember- it’s just Pilates.
If working out, feeling great, and being healthy without killing yourself is just your style come and visit us in NYC! FORM Pilates is a gorgeous boutique studio in the heart of Manhattan. First-time guests can try us out in style for a steal. Click here for more info. We hope to see you on the mat soon!