You may have noticed that after blogging on Monday last week I took the remainder of the week off. I still was active in the Holiday Workout Plan’s Facebook support group and emails, but besides that I laid kind of low on social media and didn’t do any blogging or workout planning. I gave myself a break. Please note – this is NOT an “I’m sorry for not blogging post”. The opposite, really.
As the post from Facebook states, I had spent the past few weeks working hard. I put a great deal of time and energy into the Holiday Workout Plan, between creating the twenty workouts, putting it all together in a user friendly format, filming and editing the video demos of each workout, etc. I enjoyed every minute (well, most every minute – work is work sometimes!). Plus, I had some sick kiddos to snuggle!
It got me thinking how too often in the past I would have let my perfectionism attitude and “must get things done” mentality prohibit that period of rest. Had I done so, I inevitably would have burned myself out and found myself not enjoying what I feel so blessed to call my work. Not good at all, yet something I know I have done way too often in the past.
During my down time, I caught up on some reading in the IDEA Fitness Journal (a great source full of articles for personal trainers). One of the articles discussed how we practice the idea of interval training in our workouts and prescribe interval workouts to our clients, but what about taking that concept to our lives?? YES!! I don’t know why that comparison never dawned on me before, but I loved it.
Interval training. A period of high intensity coupled with a period of rest and recovery in order to maximize our efficiency during the working interval and increase the effectiveness of the overall workout. How does that look like in our schedules, our work lives, or our personal lives? I think a lot of us hit the ground running day after day, cramming all we can into our lives with overloaded schedules and expectations to do things full out and never stopping.
Can you maintain the intensity for a 1 minute sprint during an interval workout for the entire workout? No. Or at least you shouldn’t without putting yourself at the risk for injury. So, why do we approach life that way. Why not schedule in more rest breaks?
- Have short set aside times during the day each day to do something enjoyable that relaxes us. For example, twenty minutes in the morning for prayer/meditation, ten minutes mid-day to call a friend for a stress-free chat and saving some time at the end of the day for a hobby.
- Give yourself a weekend. Or at least make sure you aren’t cramming more work into your schedule when you could have some down time. I hate to admit that a couple years ago I used to wake up early on the weekends to cram in some extra work and could be attached to my phone. Now, I sleep in, unplug, and let it be leisurely (or, if there are a lot of things going on – I make sure I’m only filling my schedule with things that fill me up in turn).
Of course, life gets crazy sometimes and there’s not much we can do about it. I feel you there. I would simply say at those times of life, be aware of chances to rest. Give up unnecessary extras that only add stress to you, take help when offered (and ask if needed and not offered!), and don’t immediately fill your plate again when things do calm down. Your life isn’t one giant sprinting interval. Make a point to schedule rest to have a safe “workout”…and be able to give more to those sprinting periods too.
Your Turn: Have you ever thought about intervals in life? How do you balanced rest and recovery with the “high intensity” times? How do you think it helps?