Why a new year HIT exercise regime could do more harm than good

Two and a half years ago I developed an itchy rash on the palm of my right hand. It wasn’t long before the left hand followed. After numerous GP visits, a patch test to rule out allergies at the hospital and even a colonoscopy the mystery of my itchy hands remained. It was eczema but the cause was unknown.

I started wearing gloves and the symptoms eased a bit, mainly because I put cream on my hands which helped remove the dryness from scratching.

I even left a job, again the symptoms eased but didn’t go away entirely…

I knew that in the last three years I had started to suffer from anxiety. Without exception most days I felt as if I had butterflies in my stomach. I was constantly ‘on edge’. I quit alcohol and I cut back on coffee and made sure I drank more water. But I still got itchy hands.

One of my other symptoms was – TMI alert – a constant ‘upset and irritated’ stomach. But again doctors couldn’t find anything wrong.

It wasn’t until last week, when i checked in with a personal trainer friend of mine that I twigged that my exercise regime may be doing me more harm than good.

You see while I do do some yoga, in the last three years (the time during which my anxiety has peaked) I’ve adopted high intensity training. I incorporate some very strenuous exercise into an already fairly active regime. So on top of two spinning classes and three runs a week I do this HIT regime.

My personal trainer friend recommended I replace the HIT programme with an alternative exercise regime.

The whole thing makes sense, I’ve been massively overstimulating my system.

HIT training is very fashionable right now, but in the last few days I’ve become aware of my fellow gym goers who are really pushing themselves and wonder if they have got themselves checked out first.

So I’m probably fairly unique in that my new year resolution is to cut down on my exercise.

I’ve also re-started pilates…. but more of that later.

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