So, how is everyone doing this morning? Did you have a good weekend? I’ll tell ya that I sure did! I kicked it off with a great feeling workout. Then I spent the day doing a bit of shopping, followed up with some baking, before heading out for a cookout dinner with friends. Things turned a little bittersweet on Sunday, but more about that another day this week. It was still a great time surrounded by good friends and just enjoying life. Hope yours felt the same.
Now that it is Monday again, we have to kick off another round of Move It Monday with a recap of my personal workouts and a new workout for you to try.
Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned feeling a bit burned out with exercise? Well, that feeling kept catching up to me, so I opted for something I feel like I haven’t done in awhile. A true recovery week.
I have a hard time taking a full week off any type of movement, because exercise truly is my therapy, but could tell my body wanted a bit of a break. So, I did just that. For the first part of the week I just stuck to some long walks on the treadmill – namely for the book reading time. Then, later in the week I could feel that old itch sparking up again.
I knew I wanted to keep things light for the full week, but I was ready for a change so I hit up a basic upper body weights workout at a lower intensity on Friday and then spin class at a low-key level on Saturday. It was just what my body needed.
For the longest time, I would look at a week like that and feel like I had wasted my time or lost my current fitness level. Nowadays, though? I look at that and see smart training. I see listening to my body – giving it what it needs, so that I can ultimately improve upon my current fitness level.
After feeling run down, I now feel ready and raring to go. I even plan to tackle a run today for the first time in at least a few weeks. You all know I believe in challenging yourself physically and “making it nasty” from time time. On the flip side, I also see many upsides to rest and recovery weeks. Off weeks of training should be a regular part of any dedicated athlete’s or fitness buff’s training schedule.
- In addition to a regular rest day in training, consider incorporating a full week either off or at a lower intensity every 12-16 weeks. When in more intense training, you may even wish to take a lighter training load even more frequently.
- Take the time you would spend training getting extra sleep, trying out a different activity, or enjoying a favorite hobby.
- Rest and recovery weeks allow your body more time to repair fatigued body structures, reduce stress, increase glycogen stores, and avoid overtraining and injuries.
- For those who simply can’t imagine avoiding the gym, do some light cross training which will allow rest to areas currently under stress while also improving possible weaknesses. Do some planks instead of hitting the road for a run. Go on a long walk instead of hitting the weights hard.
- Take the time off to set new goals and have a specific time frame to see how you improve in your training cycles from one rest period to the next.
- Stay logical. If you keep your nutrition balanced, you won’t gain a ton of weight for a week off. You won’t lose your progress in that short of a time frame, either.
- Don’t be surprised to find greater energy and increased motivation for training thanks to a mental break from regular training rigors. Your workouts will feel exciting and new again!
Your Turn – Do you ever take full weeks off from regular intense training? What would be your favorite “rest week” activity?
original photo source via 123 Royalty Free