Find balance in your workout routine — Ask Dr. Kirsten!


Sometimes people have trouble finding the right balance in their fitness and training schedule. The thrill of the workout can be addictive! This is caused by endorphins. These are substances, released during physical exercise, arousal, pain, when eating spicy foods or chocolate, and during orgasms. Moreover, it is released when we fall in love. Our body is programmed in such a way that we associate this with positive feelings. This is why you always feel good after a nice sweat. It is possible that you still have the athletes’ high and you are so hyped right after the workout that you immediately sign up for a class the day after, and the day after, etc. However, you can’t let your body go to the max every day. Even though some people would like to! I can give you tips on how to deal with this, so you don’t feel guilty if you take a day off. 

How do you listen to your body?


There’s actually an easy rule: always listen to your muscles! If all your muscles are aching, if you’ve just been sick, or if you really have zero energy left after a hard day at work: choose a quiet workout or a rest day, so you don’t push your own limits too far.  Scientific research has been done concerning the recovery of muscles in people who exercise a lot. Exercise gives the body physical stress, and to see results you have to give your muscles time to adjust and recover. It has been proven that you do not get fitter during the workout, but after the workout. To achieve your physical goals, it’s smart to build active rest days into your weekly schedule. This means an “easy” workout that reaches60-70 percent of your maximum effort.

“You do not get fitter during the workout, but after the workout!”


The science behind this: after an intense workout, the body generates an inflammatory reaction to help you recover. However, if you do too many high-intensity workouts in a row, this inflammatory reaction can work against you. It starts weakening the immune system and making your body more susceptible to bacteria and viruses. This can lead to a higher number of sick days and less time to exercise.  So take some rest days for your health!

The addiction


For those who have a bit of sports addiction or ADHD (a lot of energy every day): these rest days do not mean that you have to sit still. Instead of hanging out on the couch, it is even better to do some relaxed, low-impact exercise. The movement keeps your blood circulation active so you can get rid of the metabolic waste that has built up in your body after that hard and intense workout. You can see it as: “let the engine run”. This “relaxed” exercise also gives you a better blood circulation as well as new oxygen molecules and nutrients in your muscles. As a result, you can get back to work the next day to get that maximum effort out of the rowing machine, without too much muscle pain.


Who’s Dr. Kirsten? Kirsten Pothof, 28 years old, living in de Pijp, Amsterdam provides you regularly with all the answers to your burning Health questions. Aiding you with tips and tricks so you can train responsibly!


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