The Tax Day Blues; Are Your Workouts Pushing Your Body Beyond its Limit?

As if you needed a reminder, today is tax day.  Accountants, CPA’s, financial advisors and lawyers all work overtime to ensure all of the dollars and cents on your tax return are reported correctly to the IRS.

Those same wonderful people – y’know, the numbers folks we spoke of above – look like walking Zombies these days, overworked and in need of some serious sleep. Just like crunching numbers for days on end can leave your body in need of R & R, working out for too long on a particular day or for too many days in a week without rest can leave your body seriously taxed.

And while the governments’ recommendations for daily exercise fall somewhere in the 20 minutes per day range, many folks tend to over-train themselves with the hope of losing that next five pounds, gaining that extra bit of muscle or looking that much better for the beach.

So what’s the right amount of exercise that your body can handle each week? The simple answer is it depends. A young and healthy 19-year-old’s body can handle a lot more physically than a 50-year-old with a recent knee replacement.

Finding your sweet spot takes some experimenting and listening to what your body tells you. There are some people who do crap-loads of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) per week while mixing in some all-out sprints. Other people fall in the chronic cardio category, slaving away on treadmills or ellipticals for hours on end.

But how will you know your rundown from over training? Signs include feeling sick, gaining weight, losing muscle and constantly feeling run down. If you’re feeling any of these signs, it might be time to pair back what you’re doing and reevaluate your exercise plan. 

Other actions you can take to improve your exercise experience is getting more sleep, improving your diet (this might include reducing processed foods or increasing good carbs) and changing the style of exercise that you do.

As I get older, my workout plans are forced to change based on many of the above points; lack of sleep, crappy diet (those Christmas parties in December are brutal) and simple over-training for long periods.  

So what’s your breaking point when you feel TAXed from exercise?