When you are not feeling up to par, you may be tempted to skip working out altogether. There are times when you need the rest. However, skipping too frequently may be an indication that you are expecting too much, or too little of yourself.
For instance, people who have various types of arthritis, or who have limited flexibility genetically, may not feel comfortable working out. But, with many of these conditions it is still important to keep moving. Completely stopping activity will lead to a vicious cycle that creates more loss in the range of motion, more stiffness, and more movement-avoidance.
It can be especially hard for people who are used to putting in a “good” workout to change their way of thinking and give themselves credit for healthy movement. Walking, gentle stretching, swimming, deep breathing, range of motion activity, these are all good forms of activity and should not be discounted! Cardio activities are important, but don’t neglect other forms of exercise. Don’t expect so much of yourself that you feel that anything less than a “full workout” just isn’t worth your time. And don’t beat yourself up if you have to decrease the intensity of your exercise due to illness, injury or aging.
On the other hand, you may be a person who expects too little of yourself and never pushes yourself to do anything if you are not feeling 100%. That is a slippery slope that can lead to less and less activity as you age. The best gift that you can give your family (and yourself) is to stay healthy as you age!
WARNING- Each person’s body is different, and each situation is different. Follow your health care practitioner’s advice, especially when you are ill or injured. Ask questions and ask for recommendations on your activities.
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