R-E-S-T…yes, it’s a four-letter word, but it’s a good four-letter word
Do It This Week!
Ok, Everyone! I feel like I’ve put my Gym-Mom Hat on to write this week’s blog.
Those of you that know me know that I tend to have a less-competitive attitude about working out. I am in this for the long haul. My family tree’s medical history is filled with some pretty terrible autoimmune diseases.
Personally, I hope to be working out into my 80’s (beyond would be even better). Hopefully, the choices that I continue to make will allow that to happen.
One of those choices is that I incorporate rest days into my workout week.
Those of you that have been in my classes know that I ask my athletes at the start of each class to evaluate how they feel on any given day. Knowing when to give more or less is an important awareness to have.
Incorporating rest days into your week is a reminder that recovery is key to improving performance and overall fitness. They should not be a luxury, but are a necessity and should be practiced weekly.
We often fall into the trap of “more is better.”
This isn’t the case when it comes to exercise.
While working out an athlete’s muscle fibers are torn down.
It is during times of rest and recovery that your body repairs and grows. Think about how much time infants and young children spend sleeping. It is because their bodies and brains are growing at tremendous rates.
Doing more without proper recovery does not allow the body to repair and grow. It actually can impede progress instead of pushing it forward.
Not allowing for enough rest and recovery increases the chance for illness and injury.
The more resources the body uses to repair muscles fatigued from training, the less it has to fight germs.
It is important, too, to look at your life as a whole and not just consider your fitness routine.
Be honest with yourself about this.
Do you have a physically demanding job? Have you been working in your yard? Have you gotten enough sleep? Maybe you’ve been up for several nights with a sick child. Are you dealing with money or family issues that are causing you stress? Maybe it’s allergy season and you can’t breathe.
Think of your body as a box.
Your life is all of the things that can go in the box.
The box can only handle so much before it starts to break.
Ideally, if something new goes into the box, something old should come out. (So maybe this isn’t the right time to add two-a-days to your life.)
As an athlete, it is important to be aware of how much you can train and still recover. No amount of nutrition, supplements, or knee sleeves can take the place of rest.
Signs that you are due for a rest day may show themselves in a variety of ways.
Muscle soreness is an obvious result of working out.
However, muscle soreness that does not go away may indicate that an athlete is not properly recovered.
Feeling tired and having a “foggy brain” can also be a signs that a rest day is needed. If an athlete is tired and cannot focus, it is easy to break form and get an injury.
Additionally, not allowing minor injuries to heal can turn into more major problems. Illness is definitely a time to take a break from the gym.
Obviously, it is not nice to spread germs to other athletes, but your body needs the resources to fight the disease.
Allowing yourself to incorporate rest days into your fitness schedule will ultimately prepare you for a better workout experience.
With proper rest joint inflammation and muscles soreness can be reduced; and, there is a greater chance that injuries can be prevented. You will come back to the gym with a good attitude and be more physically prepared to do the work.
If you have any questions about how to incorporate rest days into your workout regimen, please do not ever hesitate to talk to me or one of the other 330 coaches.
Have a great week and get some rest!
Mama Lisa :)