Don’t Binge on Exercise

I’ve talked about this before, but there’s a mentality to fitness that can healthy, but performed in the extreme – it’s anything but. I’ve never been a fan of deprivation diets. By the same token I’ve never been a fan of binge exercising either. We’ve all done it though, we’ve all felt like we weren’t meeting a program or goals and serious enough about our exercise.

You know who you are. You have trouble staying motivated. You likely work out once a week – maybe twice. You push yourself really hard on those days because you didn’t work out on the other ones.

Well, just like eating an entire chocolate cake will not make up for the piece you missed and in fact does worse damage, so to does a 2 hour, intense workout hurt your fitness more than it helps. Frankly, you risk more injuries, burnout and plain discomfort when you sacrifice short, moderate workouts frequently for one power intense session once or twice a week.

So what if you didn’t work out yesterday? You can’t make-up for that today by doubling your work out routine. There are simply some things you cannot make-up for and I’m here to tell you that is okay.

You didn’t work out at all this week?

Okay, do a thirty-minute workout today.

That’s it – just thirty-minutes.

Then do another tomorrow and the day after and the day after. Take a rest day somewhere in there. If you miss another couple of days, you don’t do a 90-minute workout to make up for the two days of 30 minutes you missed.


Simple, those thirty minutes is gone. Poof. It’s out of here. You cannot make it up. All you can do is risk injury to yourself and making yourself so sore, you will miss tomorrow’s workout.

The hardest selling point of exercise is you should feel BETTER when you are done, not worse. When I work out in the morning, it pumps me up for the day. But I have a threshold; if I don’t get to that workout before 10 a.m. – chances are darn good I will not the rest of the day. I may throw in a fifteen minute quick walk at lunchtime and while that’s better than nothing, I won’t have the supercharge I get from my morning workout.

I’m not going to kick myself if I don’t get to it. I will write a reminder to myself and I will do it tomorrow, because I know that mentally – I get more done, I feel better and I have a better overall day when I get my morning workout in.

That’s where moderation pays off. I’m not going to be exhausted when I get done with my workout. I’m going to be pumped. I’m not going to be ready for a nap; I’m going to be ready to dive into my work. What’s more, when my work is done, I won’t feel achy and sore. I won’t be cold and I won’t be so tired, all I want to do is zone out on the sofa. No, I’ll have used up my charge, but I will also be ready to relax.

So if you didn’t work out yesterday, that’s okay. Just give yourself thirty minutes today, tomorrow and every other day you’ve got it and reap the benefits. That 30-minute investment can buy you as much as two to three hours more in extra energy, feeling great and accomplishing more. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. How many other investments can you say that about?

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.