What is moderation?
Moderation – what on earth does that mean?
The balanced program that wasn’t that balanced for me
I was always a big supporter of balance – so much so that I named my business Healthy Balance Fitness way back in 2003! HOWEVER my approach to balance has changed as I’ve learned more and experienced more. I used to think balance or moderation could be dictated from the outside. I thought we could just follow a ‘balanced program’ for our exercise. I’d follow the scheduled amount of rest days and easy days, and many would still view it as a sensible and safe approach. BUT… I still suffered regular overuse injuries and spent a lot of time at my physiotherapist. I was being lead by goals, rules, what others were doing, and what I thought was expected of me – my ‘balanced’ program still wasn’t MY balance.
You’re the expert on you
I’ve now learned that moderation cannot be dictated from the outside, it’s about tuning into what our body needs and responding as best as we can in each moment. Moderation or balance cannot be set for you by someone else. How do they know how well you slept last night, how much tension is in your muscles right now, how stressed you are about work, that your foot pain has flared up today, that you didn’t have a chance to eat since lunch so your energy levels are low, what time of the month it is, or that you’ve been really battling a low mood this week? All these things are an important factor in whether you should exercise right now, what type of movement is suitable, what intensity and duration is wise.
EEEK so if there’s no rules telling me what I should do, what’s the key?
Listening in and trusting ourselves.
It’s about curious awareness and learning to not judge or second guess what your body tells you. It takes practice. It’s not as simple as downloading an eating or exercise plan from the internet. But it’s sustainable, and the most personalised plan you’ll ever have! Check out more about Intuitive Eating and Intuitive Movement.
Could you let go of the external rules and practice listening in?
**Note: If you’re training for a particular event (like a fun run, triathlon etc) then a balanced program will be a safe way to prepare adequately *HOWEVER* any program needs to encourage you to listen in to your body and adapt the plan as needed along the way to avoid overtraining injuries and fatigue. A ‘stick-to-it-at-all-costs’ program is never balanced no matter how many rest and recovery days are scheduled in! As a running coach I know the amazing benefits of a well-written, balanced running program, however it needs to be served up with plenty of encouragement to tune in, trust ourselves, and adapt our training and the goal if required. Self-awareness trumps the program!