I’m going out on a limb here, people…but I’m willing to do it for my readers. Yes, that would be you. There are plenty of fitness folks, pros and enthusiasts alike, who will disagree with this statement because it completely counters their marketing efforts and maybe even their lifestyles. But I’m doing it anyway because…well…I suppose because I’m finally sick of the phony, inflated, trying-to-get-your-money and, most importantly, FALSE claims out there.
In my professional opinion, what is the biggest, fattest lie being passed around in the fitness industry?
Answer: That working out EVERY DAY is the only way to be successful and see results.
Insert mega eye-roll from yours truly.
This kills me. Clearly. Or else I wouldn’t be writing about it.
I hope this brings you a sigh of relief because honestly, YOU. DO. NOT. HAVE. TO. WORK. OUT. EVERY. DAY.
The best fitness professionals and athletes out there take days off. They have active recovery days of stretching or light movements. They take time-outs for massage, therapy and R&R. Why? Because it’s hugely important. I’ve elaborated on the importance of recovery one too many times already but if you’re thirsty for more reasons to enjoy tea time instead of treadmill time then you can read one of these articles…
When You Are Tired (of being tired)
Frenemies: Exercise Myths We Hold Onto
Back to the point…the claims that you need to relentlessly work out to see results are plastered all over Pinterest and Instagram. “Fitspirational” messages assault people from bloggers, Twitter and Facebook, too. Unfortunately, I think we’ve all become a little numb to well-intended messages that sting our open wounds again and again.
Let’s take the following examples that make my skin itch…
WHHHAATTT??? The “Keep Calm and Move On” people are pestering us to work out every day, too?! *Gulp.* Whhhhhyyyyy? Maybe it’s just me, but there is nothing, nothing, nothing “calming” about this message. How are we supposed to stay calm when we’re being told by society that we’ve gotta get our adrenaline pumping every 24 hours? Geesh. Just in case this message speaks to you, don’t worry – you can buy sweatshirt, coffee mug and candle-adorned paraphernalia bearing the reminder. Because a soothing candlelit dinner with “WORKOUT EVERYDAY” staring you down sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?
Okay. Enough. I actually really like most of the “Keep Calm” messaging, so I don’t want to drag them through the mud too much on this one. Maybe I’ll forgive them. Maybe.
On to the next glorious image. This one is reminiscent of a lot of generic Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter posts. Take a good hard look…
Okay…let’s spin this a little. I want to ask you the following question: “Is every day a good day to work out?”
Are you thinking about your answer???
If you’re still debating the answer then STOP!
Correct response: NO!
No, not every day is a good day to work out.
I mean…we get sick sometimes, don’t we? We all occasionally experience nasty shin splints, twisted ankles, broken bones, deflated energy, dry spells of motivation, and unexpected obstacles. I will argue, quite strongly, that these are all times when working out is put on the back burner, at least for a few days. And that’s FINE.
These are two simple examples hand-picked from the flood of “fitspiration” quotes out there that mean well but wear people down more often than they build people up.
The bar is set far too high by messages like this. People come to me all the time, totally intimidated to start an exercise program because unless they can commit to it every day, they feel like they’re not giving enough. This is SO upsetting to me. Seriously guys, this is the stuff I cry to my husband over.
Again, I’m here to set the record straight…
If exercising every day is something you WANT to do and have TIME to do, then great! But, be wary. Our central nervous systems can easily become overrun by relentless programs and our hormones can get thrown way out of whack from over-training.
Plus, once again, be encouraged because…
You DON’T have to exercise every day to see GREAT results.
*Official end of rant.*
Yours in health and wellness,