Today was a HUGE step in the right direction for me! Here’s the story:
I was house sitting this weekend and didn’t get much sleep, plus I’ve been working out on top of it all. On Monday, I could barely see straight and ended up taking a SIX HOUR NAP in the middle of the afternoon (red flag #1). So, Tuesday rolls around. I woke up feeling slightly refreshed, but knew I had a workout on the books.
Here’s where the change in my mindset comes in:
Old me would’ve said: “Just push through it. You don’t need to rest. You’re going to blow up into a Beluga whale if you don’t go to the gym.” (lol)
Balanced Julie said: “You need to realize that you’re probably doing too much. When even the THOUGHT of working out sounds miserable, and you can’t imagine gathering the strength to push through a workout, PLEASE give your body rest!”
I started noticing myself slipping into old habits of overexercising and being addicted to exercise, which I wrote about here.
As you know, overexercising is in my nature. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because I’m a 100% kind of person (in everything!) With food, I’m either eating ALL THE THINGS or not eating enough. With exercising, I’m trying to do my own workouts on top of teaching classes, when in real life my classes should suffice (two total body weights classes and a boot camp, currently) with maybe a day or two of cardio or targeted weight training added in.
Sometimes we just need to listen to our bodies and give them rest when we need rest. Am I going to gain 40 lbs. if I don’t workout for one day? No. Two days? No. Three? No. You get the point.
It’s all about balance and quieting that voice in your head that tells you that you absolutely NEED to be working out, when your body is telling you absolutely NOT! More change actually happens when our bodies are resting and repairing themselves, along with many other key points:
- Our muscles build themselves through rest! We NEED IT in order to see the changes we want. Alternatively, if we’re overexercising, we can actually reach a plateau in terms of progress. No rest = no repair = no results.
- The body adapts to the stress that training requires. Weight training especially is stress on the body, so just as we need rest from stress mentally, we need rest from physical stress as well.
- Overtraining can lead to exhaustion; trouble sleeping; lack of motivation to do ANYTHING, especially going to the gym; and in some cases, lack of menstruation in women (amenorrhea).
So, today I will be doing nothing that involves any kind of activity.
Of Possible Interest:
- 9 Reasons to Skip Your Workout Sometimes via Shape
- Six Benefits of Rest via The Fitness Explorer
- The Importance of Rest Days via Runner’s World