First off, I’d like to apologise for the week-long absence (or slightly longer). It’s been a crazy weekend, and last week I was out of sorts, feeling nervous about this weekend, and juggling cravings, lethargy and procrastination. I’m human, shoot me.
What better way to come back from a minor slump than to talk about stress and workouts. How many of us go into our workouts trying to relieve anxiety, the day’s pressures and daily obligations? Of course, we all do in some way. But I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t start off your exercise dragging in all that emotional and mental baggage.
From a personal standpoint, I can completely relate when it comes to trying to blow off steam during a workout. You’re tired, but you want to shift your focus and possible frustrations by pushing your body to work hard. That’s one sure-fire way to jump right into the territory of injuries, like how I did about two weeks back. If you haven’t been following my Twitter account – which you can lovingly do so by clicking on the Twitter feed on the right side of the blog (*hint, hint*) – I posted a photo of my left wrist in a guard, which was the result of badly done burpees.
I do a lot of HIIT workouts, and you could say I’m quite the glutton for punishment, so I tend to push past uncomfortable pain and sometimes ignore it when I should be listening to my body. I assumed the pain in my left wrist was the usual strain, but when the pain didn’t go away, I knew I pushed myself too hard. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why as much as it is tempting to vent your anger by pushing through a sprint or lifting extra weight and ignoring the signs of pain (NOT strain), listening to your body and performing the correct form is top priority!
Sure, you can try and prove to yourself that you can be faster or stronger than before, but if you aren’t paying attention to form and how your body feels, you could end up in big trouble. I suggest doing some dynamic stretching before your workout, with some easy breathing exercises so you can get your mind focused as much as possible. Talk an easy walk while listening to music to unwind before your workout if need be. Hey, it could be part of your warm-up! 🙂
Being out of commission is no fun at all; I’d rather you go at a steady pace and go at it for longer than power through a move in as fast a timing as you possibly can. You can always work your way up to a faster speed, but make sure to be able to perform a move with precision before speeding up first.
I paid the price, and even though my wrist doesn’t hurt as much right now, I’m slowing down the speed of my burpees and “re-learning” how to do it properly again so I don’t injure myself further or in the future. Pushing past your limits is definitely one aspect of fitness, but not at the cost of safety. EVER. Stay safe, people.