I've been wanting to talk to you about exercise for a while now. It is something that has become extremely close to my heart during the past year or so, and yet I feel only now I've achieved a somewhat normal balance with it. I tend to demand way too much of myself at all times, and doing so with exercise is not necessarily a good thing. Earlier this summer I would bike to and from work, which totals at about 40km per day, plus go running 4 times a week. This makes for a lot of time sweating in your workout gear. At first I thought it was good, and I felt great, but after having hurt my foot, and thus being forced to not exercise for about a week, I noticed I might have been overdoing it a bit. Not only have my joints never been as sore and my legs as stiff as when I had to lay off, I also noticed a change in my moods. I had been quite irritable while caught up in my crazy workout regime, and when I wasn't doing it anymore, I was a much nicer person to be around. Now, I think this has to do with the fact that if I'm doing at least 2 hours of cardio a day, that's a lot of blood rushing around, and since both biking (especially if you do it my way) and running are heavy cardio, I didn't really seem to get down from that high, and was restless pretty much all the time.
So what I figured with that was that I would take it down a notch, and have since then quit the biking, and kept the running part as I'm training for a 10k run. And how rewarding it has been! I run much faster and easier, and actually keep making progress all the time, and I feel great. I also want to incorporate yoga and swimming into my workout routine, to balance it all out. I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes it tends to be quite hard to remember the fact that moderation is key. Having said all of this, I still want to add that every single one of us needs exercise, and we probably all need different amounts and kinds of it. So my advice would be to try to find whatever makes you feel good and grounded, and I also think it should always be fun, so keep that in mind.