Why I Don’t Think You Should Do 1000 Burpees to Burn off the Turkey – Overexercise is Overrated

I first participated in organized sports at the age of 6.  I played little league baseball (not softball) so I could play with my guy cousins.  We were the orioles and we were awesome.  I hit an in field home run (probably because all the other 6 year olds were playing in the dirt) and caught a pop fly in the outfield (with my forehead).  I was hooked.

Sports for some reason was an area where I thrived.  I loved them, even if I wasn’t great at the actual skill.  I loved the competition, the team camaraderie, the dedication, the routine.  Once I got to college and was out of the organized sports realm (I told you skill didn’t always follow the love), I found myself finding the same enjoyment from working out.  I all of the sudden had this enormous gym at my fingertips and I loved going at least 5 days a week.

My friends always told me how dedicated I was and that they wished they could be more like me.  I was confused, because I didn’t feel like I was dedicated or strapped into exercise, I just truly enjoyed it.  Movement, for me, has always been intrinsically motivating.  Yes, there were occasions when I realized I could burn calories while I exercised, but that was never the main reason for moving my body.  And quite frankly, I never kept up with “how I was doing” with my workouts.  

I never recorded PR’s, keep track of how many calories I burned, or cried if I had to skip a few days.  I had a normal relationship with exercise and I still do.

However, I understand this is not the story for everyone.  I understand that you may go to the gym for hours trying to burn off all the turkey and pumpkin pie.  I get that you may over analyze all the workouts available and optimize your workout schedule to “boost your metabolism” and “shed fat fast”.  What you don’t have to do, though, if keep living like this.

Moving our bodies is a beautiful thing.  As we move, we strengthen our bones, muscles, connective tissue, and circulatory system.  We increase our range of motion and improve our movement through activities of daily living.  I wanted to share this today, in this holiday season so you can know: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WORKOUT TO EARN OR PAY FOR YOUR FOOD.

I’ve written about this before, but I felt a huge nudge to share another reminder.  Just because everyone is telling you how many burpees you have to do to earn your christmas cookies or burn off your pumpkin pie, you do not need to listen.  Our exercise and food is not transactional.  Believe me, we’re more than robots.  And, as inherently intelligent beings, our bodies know how much food or movement we need.  

Guess what?  You body literally sends signals telling your brain whether or not it needs to eat more or less on a given day.  It also sends signals that it wants to move more or less.  This is science, not blogger woo woo.

So, I guess what I want you to embrace this season is that you don’t need to be bound by external rules set in place by someone else.  Your body has it’s own interest in mind.  Let’s try listening.

Your body has it’s own interest in mind. Let’s try listening. Click To Tweet

Adrienne is a Certified Exercise Physiologist and holds a masters degree in Exercise Science. Her passion is to help people find a healthy balance between #IIFYM and #YOLO.

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