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This summer, ease up on the ‘go hard or go home’ attitude

Learning to listen to your body and adjust your workout intensity accordingly is a skill that will serve you for a lifetime, says Dre Hinds (Photograph supplied)

Do we really need to "go hard or go home"?

As an athlete turned personal trainer who once lived by the "go hard or go home" mantra, my journey in fitness has taught me the value of moderation, rest and self-compassion. I've learnt that the all-or-nothing mentality not only sets us up for failure but can also harm our physical and mental health. As we inch closer to the season of "summer bodies," it's crucial to step back and evaluate what truly matters in our fitness journey.

For years, I believed that the only path to fitness was through extreme dedication and pushing my limits every single day. As a past athlete, that was always the idea, right?However, this approach led to burnout, injury and an unhealthy relationship with exercise and my body. The truth is, our bodies aren't designed to operate at maximum capacity without sufficient rest and recovery. Ignoring the signs of fatigue and overexertion can lead to serious health issues, including chronic stress, weakened immune system and increased risk of injury.

Taking necessary rest breaks and allowing for periods of inactivity is not a sign of weakness; it's a critical component of a well-rounded fitness regimen. During rest, our muscles repair, grow stronger and our bodies replenish energy stores. This time also allows for mental recovery, helping us to stay motivated and focused on our goals. Remember, fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Patience and persistence will bring far greater rewards than any quick fix.

The concept that 100 per cent effort today may look different from 100 per cent tomorrow is a vital one. Our energy levels, moods and personal lives fluctuate daily, impacting our physical capabilities. Some days, your 100 per cent might be a gentle yoga session, while other days, it's a high-intensity interval training. Both are equally valuable and contribute to your overall wellness journey. Learning to listen to your body and adjust your workout intensity accordingly is a skill that will serve you for a lifetime.

As the pressure to achieve a "summer body" mounts, it's important to remember that fitness is not about passing a societal test or fitting into a certain size. True health encompasses full-body wellness, including improved sleep, nutrition, mental health and self-acceptance. Focusing solely on appearance misses the broader picture of what it means to be truly healthy.

Instead of succumbing to the stress of achieving a perfect body by summer, focus on setting realistic, health-focused goals. Embrace activities that you enjoy, eat nourishing foods that fuel your body and soul, and prioritise rest. By doing so, you'll not only look better, but you'll feel better too.

My journey from a "go hard or go home" trainer to one who embraces balance and moderation hasn't been easy, but it has been incredibly rewarding. I've learnt that being kind to myself, allowing for flexibility in my routines and focusing on holistic health are the keys to lasting happiness and wellness.

As we navigate the upcoming season, let's challenge the toxic fitness culture that promotes unrealistic expectations and unhealthy practices. Instead, let's celebrate every step of our journey towards a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Remember, the best body is one that is cared for, respected and loved, regardless of the season.

Dre Hinds is a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years’ experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness and Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her onabsbydre@gmail.com or 599-6683. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under@Absbydre

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Published April 10, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 10, 2024 at 7:17 am)

This summer, ease up on the ‘go hard or go home’ attitude

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