I wanted to talk today about recognizing your body's signals..this came about because of signals I received from my body today. I took a day of rest from all forms of exercise (other than cleaning, mommy-ing, food shopping, etc...) because my body told me to do so. I didn't wake up with the motivation that I normally feel in the morning. I was very stiff and as soon as I picked up my daughter from her crib, I laid back in my bed with her. Throughout the day, my back started feeling sore, then my knees, then my ankles, and by the end of the night I was/am in pain. I am glad that I noticed these cues early in the day and kept an eye on them throughout the day so that I didn't try to overexert my body.
This led me to looking up some info so I thought I'd share...
I learned that if you don't schedule a weekly exercise break, this can actually prove detrimental to your health. Although exercise is essential for your health, it is just as essential to give your muscles a break. I also learned that when you exercise every day, you are burning calories at an increased rate and in turn are losing fluid (which you SHOULD be replacing with lots of h20!), energy stores, and your muscles develop microscopic tears during those hard core workouts. It is important to give your body the time to replace what it has lost. <---You learn something new every day!!
Oh let me get on my soapbox for a minute:: This has nothing to do with health and weight loss..... well maybe brain health. A good friend of mine once told me, "I challenge you to learn 1-3 new things per day..look something up, read the newspaper, go on the internet, talk to someone new.. do whatever it takes but learn something new every single day".... I have never forgotten those words and now I am passing them on to you!
So back to what I was saying.. take a break every once in a while and listen to what your body is telling you. Sometimes, it is saying "Hey, I've had enough! Let me rest for a bit".. treat your body the way it deserves to be treated (in all aspects!!).
A problem that I was having when I first started with this whole fitness thing was losing motivation after a day of rest. If I took one day off, I would take 2 weeks off.. it took me a long time to get past that! A word of advice - If you have this same problem then on your rest days, don't sit on the couch all day. That makes it IMPOSSIBLE to get motivated again. Move around, play with the kids, maybe do a little low intensity yoga or pilates (nothing that will exert yourself.. just for a little stretching and breathing exercises), do anything except be a couch potato!!
Also, never lose sight of your goal. On my rest days I remind myself all day of what I am working for and where I am heading. I tell myself that this rest day is a reward for all my hard work this past week and if I want a rest day next week, I better put in the hard work again!!!
One more thought - Interval Exercising i.e. bursts of high intensity cardio along with lower intensity levels of the same or similar workout is said to help your body burn calories and fat long after your workout is complete. Just a tid bit for those worried about taking a rest day!
That's all for now! Talk to you all soon :)