At the gym, it can be hard to tell when to keep pushing yourself // to take a break, ++ when to be satisfied with your best. We all want to feel good about our workouts + continue to progress in our fitness journey, but we don’t want to reach burnout in the process. Knowing your personal limits takes time // experience, but keep these in mind as you progress in your fitness journey —
1] POSITIVE PEER PRESSURE
Believe it or not, a little bit of peer pressure can be a good + positive thing. Going to the gym with friends or participating in group fitness classes helps to keep you accountable + motivated! For example, you always run faster in races with other people because in addition to competing with yourself, you naturally want some friendly competition with those around you. As long as you keep in mind your limits to avoid injury, a little competition can be an incentive!
A little competition is great, but you have to recognize + adhere to your personal boundaries. Regardless of how many reps performed or distance traveled, safety is the most important. If you’re overly fatigued + try to continue, your form may start to slack, which can lead to injuries. If you try to keep doing push-ups or planks without maintaining proper spine alignment, you aren’t benefiting your body at all. Feel free to lower to the top of your knees to maintain a strong core + reap maximum benefits. It’s your workout — make it challenge you in a safe way! Set reasonable goals, ++ know that you’ll be able to achieve them eventually with hard work + consistency.
3] PROGRESS EVERY SINGLE DAY
A key to improving is being able to mentally push yourself a little more each day. If your goal is to run a 5K, know your limits + don’t try to run that distance on a whim. Begin by running only a little every day + your aerobic stamina will be able to build up. Do what you can + master that, then add a little more. For example, if you usually run a mile a day, try adding on an extra quarter mile. You want to challenge yourself but also pace yourself from going overboard.
Remember to listen to your body. If you feel you need a break, then don’t be afraid to take one. If you are feeling strong + able, push yourself to do a little more than before each day, ++ watch how you grow! You have the ability to do great things — CHAARG on!
+ Mimi [@mimi.cole_inchaarg] /// Vanderbilt University