Body Talking Exercise

You are so excited, you joined your local club and the group fitness (aerobics) class is about to start. It begins smooth enough, until you hear your instructor say “listen to your body and modify accordingly.” You think.. WHAT? Does my aerobics instructor really think my body is going to speak to me? Listen to what? What should I expect to hear?

The instructor is letting you know that at times you are responsible for understanding your body’s fitness capabilities and limitations. While your instructor is most likely trained in recognizing how participants are doing in the group exercise setting and they realize not everyone is at the same level at the same time, they can’t see everything and can’t feel what your body is saying nearly as well as you. The instructor, knowing he/she is limited in reading your outward signs, will try to teach you how to listen to your body and should be offering modifications to most all complicated or high impact movements. The modifications will give you the options you need to keep your exercise program safe and effective.

Your body may talk to you in a number of ways. Have you ever done repetitive exercises for a period of time and experienced a burning sensation? This sensation is from the build up of lactic acid and excess hydrogen ions in the muscles. It is signaling you to slow down and allow your muscles to get the necessary oxygen they need to recover or get to a level they can maintain.

What do you think your body is saying when you find yourself gasping for breath? It’s most likely screaming at you that your intensity is to high and it wants more oxygen. Slow down and allow your lungs to catch up. If it’s an interval class that same feeling is telling you you’re appropriately working at a high intensity for that shorter period of time. Your ability to sustain intense workouts will increase over time. Try to maintain a level that allows you to carry on a conversation during the workout.

If it hurts don’t do it. The saying remains true in exercise today. Pain is a loud signal from your body that something is up. Slow down or stop immediately. Check with your instructor or trainer to make sure you’re doing the movement correctly. If pain persists you may need to see your personal physician.

You were told when the nice man gave you the tour of the gym that regular exercise will give you more energy, but your body says your exhausted at the end of your exercise routine. This may mean your over-training, not getting sufficient recovery time between workouts, or you are simply pushing to hard during the workout itself. Slow down, remember the F.I.T.T. Principle, which gives you the elements for your optimal health. It includes guidelines for exercise intensity, duration, exercise type and frequency.

Pay attention to your body. It can tell you many things. When you hear it talking.. listen and follow its advice. Don’t allow your ego to cause you to try and keep up with the person on the step, treadmill, or squat rack next to you. You are competing only against your best self. Use your group fitness instructor’s modifications or make the life time investment of utilizing a certified professional personal trainer to at least get you going. It won’t be to long before you are the one others wish they were keeping up with.

Make it a Healthy Day!

Amy is the NW Regional Trainer for Resist-A-Ball, Inc. and Faculty Trainer for the American Council on Exercise. Her Bachelor of Science was attained in Holistic Nutrition and is certified as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and yoga instructor. She also offers workshops, lectures and trainings for fitness professionals through her own company – FIT Launch as well as providing personal training services locally.

To learn more and review health, wellness, and fitness products visit the Healthy Gatherings website.

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