Happy Wednesday Morning!
So let’s talk about something I hate taking, thinking about and more importantly doing- REST. Rest to me is so hard to take, I honestly think the more active you are, or the more scheduled you are the harder it is to take some rest, even when you know you need it! After running this weekend the hills just did a nice little beating on me, so I am trying to love my legs a little bit more this week. On Monday I did a hard/ heavy arms workout and felt great, but then by evening my arms felt like they could fall off, ha so then it was just a whole body being sore thing going on. Luckily I had a friend who wanted to take a walk with me, so we did a fast ( yes we power walk Old Lady style) for almost 4 miles. The sky was amazingly beautiful and catching up with her was even better
okay so onto my least favorite topic- but it’s something we should all talk about, REST. It’s how you recover and ultimately get faster, fitter, and stronger, so yes we need it. Here is a great chart on how to know if you need some rest in Ten Easy Steps.
1 BODY MASS: You lost weight from yesterday
2 RESTING HEART RATE: Your resting heart rate is elevated
3 SLEEP: You didn’t sleep well or enough
4 HYDRATION: Your pee is dark yellow
5 ENERGY LEVEL: You’re run down
6 MOOD STATE: You’re cranky
7 WELLNESS: You’re sick
8 PAIN: You’re sore or nursing an injury
9 PERFORMANCE: Your workout went poorly
Multiple poors in a row—is one of the easiest ways to identify the need for more recovery.
10 OXYGEN SATURATION: Your oxygen level has dipped
Count Your Red Flags
0-1 GREEN LIGHT
You are clear to train hard.
You can go ahead with a hard workout if your training plan calls for it, but cut it short if it feels too hard. Better yet, take an easy day, or a day off.
You’re entering the danger zone, which could be intentional according to your periodization or peaking protocol. If not, back off.
You require mandatory time off, ranging from a day to a week.
Helpful little hints on when you really need the rest, and when your just being well you know Lazy ha. Okay so you know when you need to rest, but the why helps motivate me to rest more, so here are some reasons why rest is so important!
Skeletal Muscle – your muscles are undoubtedly weakened and need extensive recovery before returning to full training.
Cellular damage – best measured by the presence and production of creatinine kinase (CK) – a marker that indicates damage to skeletal and myocardial tissue – and increased myoglobin levels in the blood stream.
Immune system – A suppressed immune system is one of the major causes of overtraining. Therefore, skipping a much needed rest period could lead to interrupted training down the road, which could significantly derail your long-term goals.
And the single best way to recover is SLEEP!
How to Sleep Like a Pro
- No screen time within an hour of bed. The blue light from screens like smart phones, TVs and tablets negatively affects your circadian rhythm and prevents you from falling asleep as quickly at night.
- Use blackout curtains in your bedroom. Light signals your body to get up, even if it’s only 5 a.m.
- Read a fiction book for 30 minutes before you go to sleep. This strategy helps turn off your “to-do list” brain and promotes relaxation.
- Easy on the coffee. Stimulants in coffee or energy drinks can make you restless even at night.
So if your thinking about resting, think you need it, then take it. And if your a Type A like me then you most likely need to take the REST. If you just took a rest day then think about joining me and Beantown Bootcamp and CitySports tonight on the Greenway in Boston, across from Haymarket Bus Stop for Free Bootcamp. You can just show up from 6-7pm or RSVP here.
Also sometimes for me Rest just let’s me enjoy, like last nights walk. Normally I would have wanted to get some high intense fitness thing in, like tennis with the boys, a run with the kids, or a different spinning class. Little rest breaks ( yes a day I call a break) let me enjoy things I might have not. Like this for dinner last night…this made my whole week.
How is REST for you?
Do you love it, and wait for it all week, or like me DREAD it!