Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Day of Rest

I workout 5 or 6 days a week and I don't at least 1 or 2 days a week.  That's something I have really struggled with, I still feel guilty on the days I don't workout.

Something in me is all, "Hey, you sat on your butt and didn't workout for years, you've had your rest, keep moving!"  Of course, it doesn't work that way.  In fact, if you don't rest on occasion, your body will actually force the issue and then you will be down a lot longer than one day.

I know of what I speak.  My insistence on going 7 days a week has landed me in the hospital twice.  It wasn't anything simple either, I had become desensitized so I didn't notice the symptoms my body was trying to throw at me.  By the time I woke up, it was too late, I was flat on my back on a hospital bed.  I have learned my lesson, finally, and now when I feel exhaustion coming on, I slow down and some days, I just plain stop.

Learn from me.  Put together a workout regime that makes sense and gives you 'off' days so that you can recover.

Benefits of a day off:

  • Muscles get a chance to rebuild.  Every time you lift weights, you make small tears in your muscles.  Resting gives them a chance to reknit and get stronger - the whole purpose behind pumping iron.
  • Walking and running stresses joints.  Giving those joints a chance to rest lessens the possibility that you will damage cartilage or attached ligaments from overuse.
  • Your mind needs a break too.  When you are stressing over finding time to do everything in your life AND workout, it can be a little much to take.  Your brain is the most important exercise organ you have, let the stress wash away and your workouts will be better on the other side.
  • If you workout seven days a week, you are more likely to burn out on the very idea of working out.  A break can help you feel like you control your life, not the gym.
There are many other physiological and psychological benefits as well, but these are some of the key concerns that you should keep in mind.

The bottom line is to take care of yourself - because no one else will.

Yours in Health,

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