When you start or change any exercise program, make sure to schedule in your rest and recovery days. I always tell my clients to listen to their bodies on a daily basis. Sometimes you may work so hard that you forget to figure this in. For any goal that you have, your recovery days are just as important. Depending on how long you have been exercising and your frequency will determine how much time you need to recover. During your programs it is a good thing to take every 3rd day off as a general rule. You can even schedule in active recovery weeks every 3 weeks. This would just be yoga, light runs, or just light workouts where you are still moving but not pushing yourself. Every 3 months it is ok to take a week off to give your body some quality rest time. If you have any of the symptoms below, it may be time to take a breather:
- prolonged muscle soreness
- lack of motivation
- lack of concentration
- tired all the time
- inability to challenge yourself in your workouts
- Unexplained weight gain
Make sure that you are also getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. There is no cut and dry amount of time for everyone in general, but if you find yourself exhausted mid afternoon everyday you may need more sleep.
Keep this balance in your routine and you will be able to enjoy your workouts so much more!
We live in a day where nutrition is hard and workouts are even harder. Is all that necessary though? Life is all about balance (which I preach all the time). You can’t eat what you want and then punish yourself with exercise. How will that leave you in 20 years? Not in a healthy spot that’s for sure. I was training one of my clients yesterday who just turns 79 today. Sweetest woman! We work on activities of daily living just to make daily living tasks easier for her. Just things like bending over to pick things up, reaching in the cabinet to get a glass, and getting out of bed. We take those things for granted when we are young and don’t realize what it will be like when we lack the strength to do those activities that are required just to survive everyday. She was telling me about her past and how active she was. Typically we think if we are active all our lives, those things will never be hard. But she was very active when she was younger. Then she said to me “I think I may have done a little too much.” Activities that she really enjoyed, like golf were becoming hard on her joints and back. THIS is why balance is so important. It’s okay to do tough workouts a day or two a week, but I also take some days and do “light” workouts which I call “active recovery”. It’s so important to listen to your body and not push beyond your limits on a constant basis. After all we have only one body and when it’s worn out there’s only so much you can do to just to maintain a good quality of life. So find that life balance and maintain that within limits. Also, be sure to eat healthy so that you support your active lifestyle. It can be a double edged sword if you are eating crap and then thinking that you can just work it off in the gym. It doesn’t work like that and you will pay for that pattern later. If you need help organizing a program to maintain this balance I’m always here to help!