When it comes to medication or supplements, I’m extremely careful in what I decide to take. I try to rely on the standard symptoms of stress, but add anxiety, hormones or (for men) testosterone to the mix and it becomes extremely difficult to decipher whether it’s all in your head or if it really is physical. I know I’m not the only one.
Not everyone who is beginning an exercise regime embrace the idea of taking supplements. With merit, of course, after all, most supplements are not approved by the FDA and have very little information about side effects, interactions with any medications that your doctor may have prescribed, or any real science behind its claims. For a long time, I was apprehensive about supplements as well. In fact, I’ve always been a bit reluctant to take any medication for a cold or something that could be cured with just time and some rest. I never liked the drowsy induced state or other potential side effects that accompanied most medications.
When I started exercising, like any ‘newbie’, I just knew I wanted to lose some weight and that was that. I did some cardio, lifted weights and thought I was making progress. Fortunately, losing weight and exercising wasn’t the hard part for me; growing up, I was always a replica of a stick figure carelessly drawn on scratch paper. Unfortunately, however, at the same time, there I was, I had put my time in at the gym, sweated every calorie, every morsel of food that went into my mouth, was doing every exercise I knew, until people were starting to mention how thin I was getting; was I doing it on purpose? Was I sick? It was then that I knew I had to take a step back and evaluate my nutrition and my time spent in vain at the gym. I thought I would just eat more and train harder/differently. However, as my strength increased and my endurance improved, and I started to achieve my goal in adding muscle, my joints from head to toe started to ache. Frustrated and discouraged; knowing that I had the potential to go further, I knew that I had to give certain supplements a closer look so that I could continue to support the active lifestyle I was quickly immersing myself into. If I just ignored the signs from the stress that I was placing my body under, I would eventually end up with an injury or the inability to achieve any of my fitness goals. After some researching, I came across Fish oil and Glucosamine/Chondroitin, and have been taking it for about 3 years now. It has helped with my training, and I can honestly say that my joints are in a much happier state right now!
I’m not saying supplements are for everyone, I’m just telling you to slowly place your body under the stress you (and your doctor) know that it can handle physically. Eventually, as you continue to challenge yourself physically, you will eventually find yourself engulfed in a mental warfare. However, you will eventually grow stronger-more mentally than physically- and your mind will try to outdo your body. You’ll start to challenge yourself a little harder, but your body may start to signal that it’s tired or even resist your efforts entirely. And then there will be that time when you’ll feel let down; hopeless even. But rather than give up and watch your hard work unravel because you’re mind starts to get the best of you, maybe supplements would be something you might want to consider? Not because you’re too weak or not good enough, but because your body is telling you that it needs support. Ultimately, your mind won’t give up, unless you first allow your body to.
Listen to your body; it’s your house and you’re in charge!