Recovery and REST

Monday, June 15, 2015 Unknown 0 Comments

Sundays are always a rest day for me.  
A day to let my body and my mind rest from the stresses of life. 
 A day to focus on the spiritual aspects of my life. I am....
Taking a sunset drive in my Jeep late Sunday afternoon. 
Top off, music playing, singing with the 'soul' of Aretha Franklin...with absolutely no regard to who could hear me.  
A great way to unwind.

You know you wake up some mornings and just think
 "UGHHH...I don't want to workout today".
Maybe there is a reason.
It seems like in our society we have an "all in or all out" and "More has to be better" thinking. 
 I came across an article in Shape magazine about 5 years ago that shared reasons why we need a rest day. I don't have the article but these were the notes I had written in my workout journal.
1.  Your muscles grow at rest.  You are tearing down when you workout so you need to work hard.  But you also need to let them have time to recover.
2.  Overtraining can cause a weight-loss plateau.  Working out too often or too intensely can help stimulate weight-loss, but most people don't realize it can do just the opposite.
3.  Overtraining can mess with your menstrual cycle.  I'm not going to lie, I wouldn't really miss Auntie Flo if she skipped her visit sometimes.  But we all know the her presence indicates your body is healthy.
4.  Sleepless nights.  If you need extra sleep to fuel your workouts or if you are unable to sleep, even when you are tired....these both indicate something is wrong.
5. Overtraining can cause mood swings.  IT's SO TRUE!  Exercise can be a great antidepressant.  Studies show it works just as well as medication for mild depression.  You know, like a 'runners high'.  But too much exercise can have the opposite as well, causing anxiety over missed workouts, workout schedules, and depression from being chronically rundown.
6.  More you workout-the bigger the appetite.  UGHHH! you can't just win, right? It doesn't take a brain surgeon to notice the link between exercise an d hunger.  Women especially fear that cutting back on their cardio will make them gain weight, but thats not how it works.  Most of the time your hunger will decrease with your lighter workout schedule, so you won't feel the need to feed your body as much.
7.  You are tired all the time.  We all love the awesome energy we get from an awesome workout, but more exercise doesn't always mean more energy.  If your workouts are making you crash in the afternoon or drag though the day because your are so tired or so may be doing too much.  Listen to your body.
8.  Overtraining leads to burnout.  In the end, it's all about balance.  We all have limited resources, time and energy- spending too much on them on exercise can deplete you and lead you to burnout.  Exercise is a lifelong pursuit, and it should make you happy.  Find a balance that works for you-your body, your life.
9.  It eats up your limited free time.  Medical problems aside, hitting the gym for lengthy workouts everyday is a big commitment.  It's important to make time for all the good things in life.  

I personally like to take Saturday and Sundays off.  A lot of Crossfitters do a 3 on 1 off schedule and do really well with it.
I did 6 days on 1 off for about 4 years. It worked ok.  I was tired most of the time and sore most of the time and always healing some kind of injury.  I didn't realize that my body was letting me know I need to recover better.
Working out shouldn't be your life,( unless you are a professional athlete).  Your workout should enhance your life.  It should make you better and stronger outside the gym.  It should give you the inner strength to finish things you do hard know inside that you can give it everything you have and be happy with whatever the outcome is.
SO make that rest day fun!  Do something that you don't ever have time to do.