Surprising Signs You May Be Out of Shape
Our bodies are machines, much like our cars, and run optimally when we maintain them properly. While your body may not sputter a big, dark cloud of smoke when it’s about to go kaput, it will provide you pretty consistent, sometimes subtle, signs that you need to spend more time on it’s care and maintenance.
If you haven’t the time to read through this entire article, then we’ll begin with the bottom-line:
#1 Sign You’re Out of Shape: Life Generally Seems More Difficult
Day-to-day life, when you’re healthy, should be fairly easy overall. From getting out of bed (without groaning) to climbing a flight or two of stairs (without getting too winded). But the benefits of exercise are so far-reaching, that almost every aspect of your life will be affected without it: mood, sleep, relationships, productivity… Even when we encounter major roadblocks to life, if our machines are running optimally, we are better able to emotionally navigate the downs. So if you’re finding life is a lot harder than it used to be, you just might be out of shape and need more exercise.
#2 Sign You’re Out of Shape: Struggling with Addiction?
Caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gambling, TV, gaming, surfing the net, social media, cigarettes, even eating, working, sex and exercising… we struggle with addiction when we are excessive or obsessive about something. When we spend too much time on one thing in our lives, we have less time for our other various life areas. For the average person, especially when we’re talking substances as they require nutrients from our bodies to process thereby taxing our system, the first life area to go is exercise and physical wellness. And, of course, this ties into sign #1 because if you’re finding life more difficult than usual, you may using substances or behaviours as a means to cope.
Tell-Tale Signs You’re Out of Shape
Now we’ll delve a bit into specific signs your body is telling you to start scheduling an exercise routine into your week, even if you have to start small.
- Resting heart-rate is high. As soon as you wake up and before you get out of bed, measure your heart-rate. Do this by pressing your index finger and middle finger to your carotid artery (the one on your neck under the jaw line about an inch from your ear). Count the beats for 10 seconds (use a timer) and multiply that number by 6 to get the beats per minute. Athletes can have a resting heart-rate as low as 35. A resting heart-rate of 60 and below is good and 61-80 is average. While some sources say 81-100 is high but acceptable, we like to err on the side of caution and suggest you see your doctor if your resting heart-rate is 75+.
- Poor posture. It’s impossible to have good posture without regularly stretching tight muscles and having a strong core, shoulders and back. If you want to start your new exercise regime with improving your posture (which will in effect help you feel more confident AND look slimmer), then check out these posts: Improve your Posture with these Everyday Core Exercise Tips and Exercises to Improve Your Posture.
- Chronic pain. Poor posture leads to almost all chronic pain in today’s modern world where we’re hunched over a computer all day or driving. If you have chronic neck, shoulder and lower back pain, it’s more than likely due to muscles that have atrophied and tight, opposing muscles. Even joint pain can be caused by weakened supportive muscles. If you have chronic pain, it’s best to consult a personal trainer with rehabilitation training who will design the best workout for you and help you overcome chronic pain and avoid injury. Read: Think Prehab Instead of Rehab and How Modern Lifestyles Lead to Chronic Pain.
- No balance and accident-prone. Are you bumping into things, finding unexplained bruises or tripping up stairs? Although there could be other medical explanations (which you should consult your doctor about), chances are you’re simply out of shape. We are slower and less responsive with weak muscles, making us more clumsy. With strong and elongated muscles, our bodies move with more grace.