Rest Days….do you have yours?

When you first start out training, or are training for something specific or simply just in the zone….then even the thought of “resting: can freak you out and you start thinking all kinds and telling yourself that it will be the end of the world if this happens and that you will lose any gains/strength/stamina…..when in fact by over training and being “too obsessed” you could actually be doing all of that and more.

Its OK to be dedicated and motivated…..believe me, we need more of that in the world….but there needs to be a point where we need to let our bodies recover.

Without adequate recovery, your musculoskeletal system, nervous system, and immune system become compromised and this then puts you at a greater risk for injury, weaknesses in training and illness. Your body’s hormonal response to the deterioration of these systems is often a state of sympathetic arousal—your “fight or flight” response—which floods your body with high levels of catabolic hormones like cortisol. None of these things are good for anyone!!!

Rest days are an essential part of training, time off allows your body and mind to fully recover and grow…..don’t believe me….then think about how you feel after a bad night sleep/rest: Your cognitive skills are fuzzy and your body starts to fall into a catabolic (breaking down) state, which can skyrocket stress, drain any muscle strength, and cause mood shifts…..well lo and behold this is exactly what NOT resting does to your body!!

If you Never take a day off, then you are just setting the body up for a breakdown. You become more susceptible to muscle soreness, a suppressed immune system, improper sleep, a decrease in strength and performance, and injury….not to mention mood swings, irritability and weird eating patterns.

Use your rest days to reflect on how far you’ve already come and acknowledge and be grateful for your body, willpower and dedication……see it as a positive thing and don’t beat yourself up for resting, as it wont get you anywhere.

If you are bored stiff indoors then go for a casual walk or yoga class/light swim…something that isn’t taxing on your body…but doesn’t make u go stare crazy either. Don’t be competitive and wonder what you can achieve just be!!! BUT REMEMBER there is nothing wrong with lying on the couch watching a film….its ok to rest up (just don’t accompany this with a take away and munchies….and then your sound)

I know that sometimes mustering up the motivation to work out is a challenge, and then other times, like when we’re really determined to reach a goal or we feel like we need to make up for lost time, the opposite is true.

Sometimes we take on that frantic “must work out every day” mindset and completely forget that one of the most important parts of exercising effectively is giving our bodies time to recover….because if they don’t recover they cant change…so your training becomes pointless.

Plan your weekly workouts….but also plan your rest days and if you are worried you will just sit and think about working out..then make plans…plans that don’t involve the gym or training…go shopping. meet friends, read a book…anything..stimulate your mind and rest the body.


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