Are you the kind of person who always pushes physical boundaries? The kind of person who'd do an event like Tough Mudder because doing a marathon just isn't cutting it unless you're getting zapped by 100000kW of electricity? (or something like that :P I don't know, I'm not a Tough Mudder).
While I may not be a Tough Mudder (I'm sane :P), I do like to push myself to the limits. I was a firm believer of No pain, no gain. Until I hurt myself... numerous times. I'm obviously a slow learner. I suffer from many joint injuries, including an ankle that sprains itself every few days or so, and more recently, severe wrist inflammation not unlike arthritis. The wrist injury left me quite crippled, it was too painful even to use a keyboard, and I went for nearly a year not being able to have proper movement.
Recently, while on holiday, I bruised my tailbone snowboarding, refused to call it quits, and continued to bruise it repeatedly for the next 4 days. I now have an excruciatingly sore tailbone... it hurts to walk, drive in traffic etc...you catch my drift.
So, seeing that it's getting close to"Let's shed the winter weight" time, here are some helpful tips to help you combat the inner urge to abuse yourself.
1. No pain, no gain is a myth
Pain, being your central nervous system's warning device, should totally be heeded. Learn the difference between regular muscle aches from using muscles you never knew were there, to feeling real pain.
2. Warm up
It's so important to warm up your muscles. Do a brisk walk before a jog, do some stretches, do the easy yoga poses before soaring into Lord of the Dance pose (I'm guilty of launching straight into a pose before warmups).
3. Baby steps
It's good that you're motivated and ambitious, but take it easy. Even if you were a pro at (insert whatever you're going to do), if you haven't been doing it for some time, ease back into it gently.
4. Make sure your exercise buddy is at the same level as you are
It'll just help moderate you if you're prone to over-exert. I find doing yoga alone is a lot safer than me doing a group yoga class, because I always want to be that person who stretches that little bit farther or who does every single arm balance. No competition means no need to prove myself.
5. If you're in pain, STOP
Seriously. It gets so much worse if you don't. It's really hard to stop yourself, but you'll be glad you did it in the long run.
Now, if only I'll heed my own tips!