When the calendar says it is a rest day, do you actually rest? It seems to be very common that if your body is feeling good then you keep going, right?
Not me. I am going to relax (maybe not relax, but not workout) and then I will happily make a big fat checkmark on my schedule right over the words ‘rest day’.
Sometimes the hardest part of training is taking days off (ridiculous, right)! After training five days straight and coming back from a frustrating week of my body not reacting exactly how I envisioned it (like slow motion on the Olympic track), I hit rest day. I felt like my body wanted to keep pushing and taking a day off would be like dragging my feet while trying to build momentum.
Like any other trainer, my apartment is stocked with all sorts of fun things like my TRX, sandbag, kettlebells and weights. On training days they look like equipment and on rest days they look like a playground. What we need to remember is that rest days are actually when our bodies make progress. Exercising creates microscopic tears in our muscles and (with rest) they heal and repair themselves to be stronger. So we need these days off to allow for regeneration otherwise our bodies just get worn down… Like many dragging limbs to building momentum.
Despite lack of need for another goal, I am setting another goal. On my last day off from the gym I visited a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. I didn’t think about what food I should be eating or what I would be doing if I was working out.
As my busy days fly by, I realize I don’t make enough time to visit with friends or reach out to people I haven’t talked to enough. So I will replace the time I would have spent in the gym doing this. It’s the new and improved rest day.
I suggest we all make our rest days more productive by not exercising and spending some face to face time with a friend. Good for the body and soul 🙂