Friday, March 8, 2013

Fit Friday - The Power of Rest Days

I have more or less shared with you that when it comes to working out and competing with myself, I have an ego the size of Texas.  I am constantly trying to jump higher, lift more, and push harder than I did in my last workout.  Maintenance days?  And rest days?  ..... Who needs those when you're a machine?

Well, everyone.  And you who that includes?  Me.

I hate taking rest days.  It makes me feel inefficient.  Now, I'll be completely honest and admit that this goes back to some deep-seeded compulsions that I have buried in the past and try not to resurrect, but sometimes it happens.  I do in fact have a pure love for exercise and working hard, but I do have to take a step back from time to time and ask myself - if my behavior was that of a client's, would I tell him/her to chill out, or push through that workout even though A, B, or C is hurting, and not in a good way?  Pushing through "good" pain, is just that - good.  But pushing through bad pain, nope, not okay.

For about a week, my right knee has been a little off, but off enough that I at least knew better than to push it any more than what I have.  I can pretty much pinpoint this to the weekend before last.  That Saturday, I had a great workout.  I should have left it at that, but no, on Sunday, I decided I wanted to try to get back into running.  That went fine, and would have been all well and good, except then Monday I went to BodyPump and did more weight on every muscle group than I have ever done, particularly in squats and lunges.  I felt great, but then come Tuesday and Wednesday, I knew I had wayyyyyyy overdone it.  So I finally got my head together and barely did anything yesterday (went a snail's pace on the elliptical while studying my ACE book), and that was it.  For me, that is doing nothing.  I felt a thousand times better today and allowed myself to go to BodyPump, but rarely lifted anything over my warm-up weight.

And you know what?  I kept myself in check, and so far, no pain.  So that's a good thing!

So, my point is, take a rest day people!  (Right now, my husband is reading this and rolling his eyes, because he always knows when I am in need of a little recovery.... and he tells me to rest, and most of the time I don't listen.)  Take it from me - I KNOW it is hard to force yourself not to go workout.  Trust me, I KNOW.  But you know what you could do in the meantime, like I did?  Whip up a special treat for your husband (a peanut butter and chocolate dessert that I might feature soon), some oatmeal stout bread (yeah, you'll definitely see that one soon), or a special healthy-but-very-addicting snack that I think I'll share with you on Tuesday next week.  I know its all a tease.  I promise I have some great things coming your way.

Maybe today or tomorrow or Sunday is your "scheduled" rest day.  Whatever day it is, I hope you get the rest you need (you know what was a BIG help for me - having my son FINALLY sleep through the night last night after a LONG stretch of being up every couple of hours), and I hope you have a GREAT weekend!