15 December 2009

Procrastination and Exercise

photo of koko and yum yum on my total gymAs you may have gathered from the title, I am once again in one of those moods. As I sit here typing this, I have no wish to exercise today. It is cold and rainy outside, the girls have just finished their school for the day, and I REALLY don't want to spend thirty minutes on my Total Gym. For the past two weeks, I have been diligently exercising five times a week and although I still have another four weeks before I can legitimately take some time off, I just have to call it quits for today.

I have been sitting here and trying to motivate myself, but it just isn't working. I'm thinking that it would be a good thing to take a day off every now and again; after all, my muscles need more than just two days to recover. Oh, and yesterday I increased the difficulty for my incline sit-ups and as a result, my stomach muscles are not that happy with me right now. I could certainly use that as an excuse to not exercise, but what about my other muscles? They're sore, but I could still work them. You see, it's the guilt thing trying to worm its way into my head and I need to fight to keep it from taking-up residence. In order to fight the guilt, I'm going to actually practice what I write about. Now, as you check outside your window to see if there are any pigs flying around, I am going to rid myself of this guilt.

"When you exercise, for example as you lift weights, perform aerobics etc, you will break down muscle tissue in the body. The more you exercise the more tissue will be broken down. When you stop your activities, nature will attempt to rebuild the broken layers of tissue, but a little stronger than last time so the tissue doesn't break as easily. Over a period of continuous destroying and rebuilding, your muscle will grow and adapt to the strain you put on it. The skin will stretch and your body will gain size and strength.When I strength-train, I am putting a strain on my muscles. When this occurs, tiny tears are created in the muscle. As the muscle rests, it repairs these tears and that is how the muscles grow."1

In short, the main portion of the muscle-building process occurs while your muscles are at rest. So, if this is the case, why am I making such a big deal out of taking ONE day off? Basically, because I have it so ingrained in my mind that I MUST exercise every day that when I do take a day off, I feel guilty about it. What I need to do is realize that even though I may not be stressing the muscles, they are still growing. Taking time off, now and again, is a critical part of any exercise regime, not only to repair muscles, but for your own mental well-being. Everyone needs a break and there is no reason to feel guilty about it.

Besides, Koko and Yum Yum are using the machine. There, guilt...gone.

How Do Muscles Grow 1


  1. It's good to see someone's using it! ;) You're right about taking breaks. You'll come back more motivated, more rested and not burnt out. Great job!

  2. LOL at the cats. I'm sure if we had one, our zoo would do the same.

    I just stick to the Wii (and the fit) - I'm playing, not really exercise in my mind. ;)

  3. So do you think people who don't exercise feel guilty when they do exercise instead of continuing to sit on their butt? Just wonderin!

    Enjoy your one day off and letting the cats have the machine!

  4. I have to get back into exercising. It's best to give your muscles at least one day of rest per week. :)

  5. Your Daily Cute: Yeah, they give the machine a pretty good workout :) I hope to get back to it today; I just had no motivation yesterday.

    Storm, The Psychotic Housewife: That actually sounds like it might be fun. If we can ever afford it, I might try getting it.

    BeadedTail: You know, I never thought about that, but I guess it could be true. Hmm...

    a49erfangirl: I usually enjoy it, but yesterday I just didn't want to do anything.

  6. I find that chocolate helps rid the guilt quite nicely...lol
    Seriously though, I'm getting way too lazy, you shouldn't feel guilty about one day, wait till it's been 2 months like me then you can feel guilty.

  7. Exercising every day is not good. I think 3 times a week is best with a day off in between. Like you said, the muscles need rest to rebuild. Working out intensely every day just tears them down not to mention makes you bored too. It's a good thing to take a break, especially if your muscles are sore. I hope you also are varying your workouts too, it's good to keep those muscles guessing what's coming next.

  8. Ann: That works for me ;) I know, I need to stop being so structured, because any little deviation and I'm toast (or in my case a whole loaf of toast).

    Karen & Gerard Zemek: Yeah, I need to start following my own advice. As for varying yes I am. As for doing cardio AND strength training...not so much. I need to increase the cardio. I know, I'm bad.

  9. My motivation done got up and left, too! Glad to see Koko and Yum Yum are making good use of the machine. You wouldn't want to interfere with their exercise time! Yum Yum looks so much like our Lalo. Soooo cute!!

  10. Split Rock Ranch: Yeah, they really like to run around on the thing. Since they have claws, I decided to let them play on it.


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