Marla Ahlgrimm Cautions Against Over-Exercising
You’ve got three weeks until your beach vacation but you’d feel more comfortable dressed for an Alaskan cruise than the Caribbean coast. What’s a woman to do? According to Marla Ahlgrimm, one thing you shouldn’t do is jump into an intense exercise program. Read on for the reason.
Q: I need to get in shape fast. Why shouldn’t I hit the gym?
Marla Ahlgrimm: You should exercise and participate in plenty of physical activity. But, the body can only adapt appropriately if given time to adjust to new movements. Jumping headfirst into a grueling workout can actually do more harm than good. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes here.
Q: What are some indications I am working my muscles too hard?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Soreness and joint pain are telltale signs you’ve done too much. Working out too hard wreaks havoc on your immune system and leaves you open to illnesses. Many women experience sudden changes in mood, sometimes to the point of depression. Even worse, over-working the body can leave you feeling unmotivated to do much else for your health, including eating a proper diet. This can leave you even more out-of-shape than before and completely nullify your efforts.
Q: So, how can I avoid all of this?
Marla Ahlgrimm: When you are ready to begin exercising, do so slowly. For example, you want to run five miles a day but you’ve never done that before–start by walking a mile and work your way up to a brisk pace for the five miles. After a few days like this, jog a mile and walk the rest. When you are used to that, alternate your pace the entire trip… Keep adding in run time until you can go the entire way without hurting the next day. This may take a month or more.
Q: Why is sleep so important when starting a new exercise routine?
Marla Ahlgrimm: When we sleep, our bodies get to work fixing all the microscopic damage that occurred during activity. These tiny tears are the reason it hurts after an especially hard workout. Add an extra half hour of rest each night to give your body the time it needs to heal.