In a world that encourages you to “just do it” – with no excuses, while going hard, after hustling (and before grinding), a rest day can feel like giving up. Years ago, I supported the notion of working out seven days a week. I was convinced that every workout had to be as difficult, if not more so, than the previous. Over time, physical stress accumulated and the outcome was a herniated disc. Since then, I have found balance at the gym and in life. Some days I feel my strongest after completing a couple of pull-ups. Other days, all I need is a set of dumbbells, my XBAR and some warm weather to feel on top of the world after completing a backyard bootcamp.
When you avoid listening to your body, your body will speak up. Usually, in ways that stop you in your tracks–literally and figuratively. The following are examples of what can happen when you over train and under restore.
- Adrenal fatigue
- Low energy
- Excessive weight loss or weight gain
- Mental fog
- Elevated resting heart rate
- Loss of energy
- Muscle aches and pains that do not go away
If you’re running your body like you run a business, ask yourself “what’s my bottom line?” Is the risk of working 24/7, 365 days a year worth the reward? What are you gaining by pulling all nighters and pushing deadlines?
The Fuel Your Fitness Method embraces activity, nutrition and restoration. Dedicate at least one day per week to restoration. This might mean staying in bed until 11am. Or taking a yoga class. Restoration is meant to calm the body and calm the mind. Avoid doing anything that requires a great deal of energy.
- Visit your library.
- Schedule a manicure or massage.
- Call a friend.
- Send a hand written note.
- Stretch. Follow along with a Fitness Blender yoga routine or find some ideas on my Pinterest Restoration Board.
Over time you will discover the balance between pushing yourself and knowing when to back off. Embracing restoration will improve your self awareness and your ability to listen to your body. The next time you think about going hard…ask yourself if what you really need is to go home.
Feedback? Suggestions? Comment below. I’d love to know your favorite way to restore. For more information about online and in-person training programs, click here.