Stress {not the kind you’d typically think of}, recovery, and adaptation are some important body processes to be aware of for your fitness. I think it’s imperative to learn what these are and why you need to understand them for your body.  

Simply put, these processes are something we go through when we train.  After we go through these steps, some psychological changes occur at this point too. We start to build confidence from the gains we have made and from the changes that take place physically: a trimmer waist, a more defined arm, noticing our clothes are fitting differently.

Stress

We apply stress to the body through exercise: i.e. squats, planks, or a long run.  Stress disrupts our homeostasis {our normal physiological state}. 

Recovery

Now our body must recover from the stress that we applied. Our bodies return to their pre-stress state and become a little stronger.

Adaptation

And last but certainly not least our bodies adapt. We discover that we are able to lift a little more weight, hold a plank for a few more seconds, or run a little bit longer.  The best example of adaptation is someone training for a marathon.  Beginning with week 1 they might only run 1-2 miles on a run, but by week 16 or 18 they could be running 18-22 miles on their long run. 

The take away

Our body is truly an amazing piece of machinery, but when you know how to manipulate it through training and understanding stress, recovery and adaptation you have the keys to reach your genetic potential.  So now when you decide you want to start exercising or you want to see how far you can go, keep these principles in mind while on your journey. Rather than just doing arbitrary exercising like walking, lifting weights, or riding a bike, attack with a focused and purposeful plan to reach your goals and apply these processes.  Lift, walk, bike, or run a little bit more every 2nd or third time and you will be pleasantly suprised how far you have come and the potential your body has to go further!  

Image credit: Erik Taylor


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