Over the last year or so, I’ve developed a much healthier relationship with exercise. There are a few things that I used to think about exercise that I’ve realized aren’t true, and some of these things can actually be pretty destructive, so I wanted to share them with you!
Myth #1: Working out every single day means you’re really motivated and as healthy as possible. For a couple years, I thought that running 7 days per week would get me in the best possible shape and make me really hardcore. What I found out was that:
-A rest day rejuvenates me and keeps me from mentally getting burnt out from exercising. I’m much more excited to get to work out the next day after I take a day off.
-I actually became a faster (and much happier) runner once I cut out one day of running every week!
-My body needs a break every now and then and taking a rest day every week can help prevent overuse injuries.
-Every once in a while, hanging out with friends or baking cookies is a perfectly acceptable way to spend an extra hour or two instead of lacing up my running shoes.
-As much as I love running, going for a walk is refreshing in a whole different way!
Myth #2: On your rest day, you definitely should eat less than on days that you work out. If you take lots of rest days every week, then sure, you probably shouldn’t eat like you work out hard every day. But if you typically just take one or maybe two rest days per week, I’m a firm believer that everything food and exercise-wise will balance out.
For example, on a day that I do, say, a 10 mile run, I don’t necessarily eat lots of extra food (but if I’m extra hungry, I will!). And then on a rest day where I do nothing but lounge around and eat ice cream, I’m going to fully enjoy it and not worry that I didn’t work off enough calories that day. Hungry Liv = grumpy Liv, and same goes for chocolate-deprived Liv.
Myth #3: You should do all cardio, all the time, to get in ghe best shape. For the longest time, I didn’t fully realize that running and other types of cardio don’t really build muscle! Those burn calories, but to build muscle, you have to actually lift weights and do bodyweight exercises like push-ups and planks, too.
I’m definitely still working on this one. Jen from Peanut Butter Runner wrote a great article about why it’s important for runners to strength train, too.
Are there any exercise myths you used to believe?