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ARE YOU OVERDOING IT?

Over the many years I have worked in the health and fitness industry, I have come across many types of people. Most of the issues people present are focused on weight loss, strength and conditioning, and rehabilitative exercise. In addition, a majority of people struggle to stay committed to exercise and make it a habit.

Among the regular exercisers and fitness enthusiasts, I have encountered people struggling with their health despite what they say is their best and consistent efforts. Eat more vegetables, stay hydrated, get a minimum of 30 minutes of good exercise every day, sweat it out, cut junk and processed foods, get regular sleep… all ok, yet their bodies aren’t thriving despite no particular medical condition.

Here’s what I found most health and fitness conscious people sometimes get all wrong. Listed below are the common mistakes:

• What works for one person may not always work for another. Many of us suffer from food sensitivities and stomach issues, and healthy eaters often tend to stress their body by overdoing or eliminating something completely from their diet. Also many people consume healthy foods that are not optimal for you. It’s important to incorporate variety in your foods and eat what’s seasonal, natural and fresh as much as possible.

• Stressing over food is a major health deterrent. Getting anxious and over thinking your diet is counterproductive to healthy living. If you stress about getting your salads right or creating the perfect meal all day long, the stress will kill you. Stress creates chronic health issues, autoimmunity, adrenal fatigue and gut issues among others. Food is the last thing you should be stressing about. Eat nutritious, healthy and fresh, and enjoy eating mindfully.

• We are often told to adopt natural sweetners. It sounds healthy and many people opt for it without really thinking about it too much. When incorrectly consumed, high fructose foods stress your liver and can contribute to fatty liver disease and insulin resistance. Stevia is used as a popular sugar substitute but most people ignore that white powdered stevia contains additives because it has been chemically altered. In fact, most sugar substitutes contribute to digestive problems. If used in large quantities, even raw honey and maple syrup are unhealthy.

• Overdoing anything isn’t great. So is over-exercising. After exercise, your must rest and regain energy otherwise you can increase inflammation throughout the body. Balance is the key here. A good way to go about this is to give yourself a full one or two days off from exercise each week.

• Getting adequate sleep is a must. In our crazy schedules, sleep takes least priority for most people. Sleep is the time your body has to repair tissues and hormones. It’s imperative that we ensure we promote better rest and quality of sleep on a daily basis.

Too much protein, too much carb, too much alcohol, too many supplements, too much of a type of health food, too much of exercise… anything you overdo will affect your body adversely. Be curious and open minded about all the good things you hear about when it comes to diet, nutrition, exercise and health, but never forget to use your common sense. Make informed choices but above all, listen to your body always.


Sandesh Palungwa Limbu is a certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and also specialises in mixed martial arts. For answers to your fitness queries, write to him at ragefitness@live.com