I have mentioned on this blog my use of exercise and a healthy diet as a self-imposed treatment for my major depression and borderline disorder. Nothing else has helped me more, including medication and self-medication. My healthy lifestyle has effectively kicked my psychological problems’ collective ass!
But I realized something just now, related to intensity. I have been mistakenly thinking that the more adrenaline I can pump through my system the better, and that the endorphins are what is healing me.
Taking time to do “easy” strength sessions here and there, indulging in my beloved walks, and taking more days off has not diminished the returns I’ve received in the way of stress relief and focus.
I don’t have to work myself into a sweat-dripping frenzy every day or even 5 days a week to stay well mentally. Considering the fact that over-stressing myself through over-training could even cause me to retain fat, I think it is only wise to limit the amount of high intensity work outs I do during any given week!
It’s nice to know that I don’t have to worry so much when I really can’t work out, or if I just feel like reading or taking a nap or actually eating lunch instead. Before I felt guilty… I think I even believed I might become fat or automatically depressed if I missed too many days! That is just not how it works, and I learned something new about fostering good physical and mental health.