This morning I had a workout with my trainer, who’s leaving my gym on Wednesday! So I scheduled one more workout with him for Wednesday. I’ll be sad to see him go, and I’ll be honest, nervous about working with someone else for the rest of the sessions that I have! But change is good… I guess. Haha.
When I got back I made myself a Peach Banana smoothie and packed up for school.
In the mix: 1 frozen peach (from the farmers market!), 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup almond milk, somewhere between 1.5 and 2 cups spinach (got a little crazy..), 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, and a heaping tsp of flax! I also added a packet of Truvia and a splash of vanilla to add to the flavor, although I’m not sure I could taste the vanilla… too much else happening.
Speaking of scheduling workouts, on Carrots N Cake this morning, Tina talked about how she schedules her workouts every Sunday for the week, and this is something that I do as well! I love reading Tina’s blog because she has such great advice about running and strength training workouts to go along with it, as well as great recipes! Her book actually helped me out a lot this summer and got me off of calorie counting! You should definitely check her out!
You’ll notice I don’t have a rest day planned in, that’s because I took a rest day on Saturday instead of Monday this week because I had to work in some time with my trainer. I might end up just taking off Thursday, but sometimes I don’t schedule the rest day because my body just says NO! one day! (I’m already thinking Thursday is going to be rest day… maybe just 2 miles and no yoga).
I typically decide my workouts on the weekend, and then put them into my Google Calendar. I have everything in there! All my classes, social events, meetings, and workouts! I even have different colors for different things, and since it syncs with my phone, it makes it so much easier to keep up with everything!
The Importance of Rest Days
My first 10K 1 year ago!
Talking about how I need to schedule a rest day into my workout-week got me thinking about why it’s so important to have rest days. I found an article on sportsmedicine.about.com that discusses just this issue. Back when I was trying to lose weight last year, I’ll admit I would go 2-3 weeks without taking a rest day. I had the mentality that taking a day off was weakness and it made me feel guilty. Now I’ve learned that rest days are essential to help our bodies recover and perform well.
The article discusses how recovery allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues and without this time to repair, the body will continue to break down, which results in over-training.
The article also mentions that there are two types of recover: short term recovery and long term recovery. Short term recovery, or active recovery, is the time immediately after intense exercise. An important part of short-term recovery is eating the right meals after exercise to replenish energy stores and fluids lost, as well as optimizing protein synthesis (proteins are used in our body to build muscle, among many other things). Long-term recovery are those built into what the article calls a “seasonal training program”, which includes recovery days and recovery weeks that are built into a training schedule.
One of the most important parts of rest days are that they help you avoid over-training, which is definitely an issue I dealt with. I was doing so much interval running on the treadmill last spring that I pulled my IT band. Even after my injury I kept trying to make up for not being able to run by over-using the elliptical machines. I thought I wasn’t burning as many calories as I was running, so I had to work longer and harder! This just made my injury worse!
And personally, I think rest days are good for your mental health too! Sometimes we can get so set on achieving our goals that we forget to find balance in our lives, and eventually the exercise we are doing is no longer fun! When I couldn’t run anymore, I realized that I missed it not because of the calorie-burning, but because it was a great stress-reliever! I enjoy running and am so glad to be able to throw on some tennis shoes and go run when I feel the need to! I really learned a lesson from my injury and I’m being cautious to not over-do running! Slow and steady and I’ll be running a half-marathon before I know it!
How do you feel about rest days? How many do you typically take during one week?