Recently I have been having some aches and pains I can only attribute to stress and overdoing it at the gym. I was really pushing hard with some intense weight training and cardio sessions since joining my new gym a few weeks ago, but my progress stalled thanks to some reoccurring (and usually always blamed on) overdoing it- causing some serious knee pain.
Sometimes when taking a rest day in-between strength training days I still felt the need to do something. A run, yoga, DVD workout..something. But just one day after doing a simple at-home workout, the excruciating knee pain made me realize the importance of truly resting- as in lying on the couch and numbing your brain with mindless reality tv. I found myself feeling guilty for not getting some kind of activity in (aka calorie burning) but told myself that my body in pain is obviously telling me to take it easy. Guilty? For letting my body get what it needs?? I see so many health bloggers punish their bodies when it’s obvious their bodies need a break. Knowing that my knees, as well as my mind and body, needed real rest, here is how I really took a rest day:
-Reconcile that once you are recovered your body will thank you and allow you to give the best effort at the gym
-Put away the gym clothes so you have no visual cues to trigger that ‘must get to the gym’ feeling
-Put on some comfy lounge clothes. Slippers are optional but preferred
-Break out a favorite snack you rarely enjoy and really give it the attention it deserves. Put it on a nice plate/bowl, get creative with the display, and leisurely enjoy every bite
-Light some fun scented candles to set a relaxing tone
-Find the most ridiculous tv show on to tune out your brain (or conversely, finally make a dent in your DVR queue or watch that unopened DVD you bought months ago!)
-Grab your significant other/child/fuzzy child/favorite stuffed animal and get all snuggled on the couch
-Enjoy the bliss that is relaxation!
Just like one meal won’t undo all your hard work, one night off wont sabotage it either In fact, your body and sanity will thank you for it!
How do you get into relaxation mode? Ever feel guilty for taking a day off?