You know those people that go to the gym every day who are intent on building a muscle right then and there … or they do a high intensity class and then head out to the treadmill for another 45 minutes sweat session? I sometimes wonder if these people are really achieving what they want from their training sessions.
Do they ever have time off or do they slog away day after day without missing a beat? Are they really enjoying what they are doing or has it become a chore and they feel if they miss a session the world will end?
I’ve been that person ..
I’ve ticked off those weight training sessions and calculated those cardio calories.
I had to make sure that I could cross those training sessions off the calendar.
But then I started getting tired. And not just tired that you feel at the end of the day or end of the week. Tired that I felt that I just couldn’t keep going without having some sort of nap. Sometimes the thought of moving was exhausting!
I would get through the rest of the day and head to bed at the usual time, wake up at the usual time and start again.
As usual I would train after work .. come home for lunch and nap again before starting the afternoon taxiing with the kids. I was exhausted. After a few weeks of this I just didn’t feel like training so I would have a few days off … then I would start the cycle again.
I got to the point when I finally realised that this is not what I want .. I was not enjoying it anymore and nor was my body!
I had to do something different. Something that would let me do what I wanted and actually keep up some sort of routine. I love being fit and strong and doing exercise .. But I do not like feeling exhausted all the time. I still have work, my family and a life that I want to keep up with.
I’ve since changed my training to include a few extra rest days and changed the intensity of some of my sessions. God forbid!!
In reality I know the necessity and benefits of including rest days in a training program but it’s not always easy to put into practice. Guilt starts to sneak into your thoughts. Don’t let it! I preach the importance of resting your body to my clients all the time .. particularly after a hard training session.
Including rest days will help you …
- recover for your next training session
- reduce your risk of overtraining
- actually improve your strength and fitness
- build muscle, rather than constantly beating it down
- keep you sane for your family and loved ones (should this one be at the top of the list?)
Don’t get me wrong .. I still train hard and my clients train hard when we have to, we want to, or our bodies let us … but I always make sure that our training programs include adequate rest days.
Please feel free to come and tell me how you totally smashed your last session, or how many calories you caned on the tready the other day! I will be just as excited as you are, but I’m going to be just as excited when you tell me that your training program includes a few recovery days and these days off make you feel re-energised and ready to face up to your next session. Just don’t tell me that you smashed yourself and you are so exhausted you just can’t face anything for a week …
Enjoy your rest day! If you are looking for a few ideas on how to start feeling your best again, register below to get your copy of my 5 Steps to Feeling Your Best …