One of the most challenging things to explain to my clients is why more isn’t always better. In the fitness world, everything is geared towards pushing harder, doing more, making it more intense. Advertisements show exercise as jumping around, dripping sweat, muscles bulging, high intensity sessions. Viral videos get spread around facebook of someone doing an incredible feat of strength. Frankly, this portrayal of fitness can be misleading.
While if that’s what you want to go after, that’s great! Go for it! However, when it comes to your health, you really don’t need to go to extreme measures. Physical therapist and fitness coach Gray Cook in his work talks a lot about the “Minimum Effective Dose.”
If you went to a doctor because you were in pain he wouldn’t put you on five painkillers at the maximum dose. No, you start off with a small dose and increase it to the minimum amount you need to get the job done.
Maybe doing two days a week of strength training is enough to make you fit and you don’t need high intensity bootcamps five days a week. If your main goal is health, you probably don’t need to burn a thousand calories in each session. Maybe you just need to cut out fast food to lose weight and you don’t need to starve yourself or live off of only protein shakes.
Find something sustainable that keeps you going in the right direction.