Active Rest Days

“Active rest days” – oxymoron much?  Although it may not completely make sense at first, let me just tell you that active rest days are a great component to add into your weekly fitness routine.  Rest days in general are crucial to allow your body to recover and help prevent injury.  However, your butt being glued to the couch all day isn’t always the wisest choice for rest, which is where active rest days come in.  Low to moderate exercise that gets your heart rate up without going above 65% of your maximum heart rate would be considered part of an active rest day.

Most of my own personal active rest days take place on Fridays and/or Sundays.  I will occasionally take an active rest day in the middle of the week instead of a regularly scheduled workout if I feel as though my body needs a break as well.

Here are some of my favorite forms of active rest exercise:

  • Going on a walk with our pups.  Aren’t they so stinkin’ cute?  Gahh I love ‘em.

  • Doing a yoga video on Hulu.  (Below is my “I-feel-awkward-doing-this” face. Smile)

yoga

  • Going at a steady pace on the elliptical while browsing my favorite health and fitness magazines.

  • Shopping!  You better believe walking around the mall and/or shops for a couple hours is active rest in my book. Winking smile

codnash

  • Going on leisurely bike rides.  (Miss you sister!)

biketrip

  • Hiking

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Taking active rest days is a great way to get your heart pumpin’ and flowin’ to those muscles that are needing nutrients and oxygen to repair themselves after more intense workout sessions.  I highly recommend them!  Winking smile

 

And if you’re NOT having an active rest day today, head on over to In Sweetness & In Health for some FLOW action!  You’ll find some awesome new exercises and workouts to try out!

In Sweetness and In Health

 

 

Questions:

  • Do you incorporate active rest days into your workout routine?
  • What are some of your favorite active rest exercises?

Listening To My Body

Wowee, it’s already Thursday?!  Man, is it just me or have these last couple weeks just been flying by?!  Before we know it, it’s going to be Christmas!  Oh jeez, that means I have a lot of shopping to do…  Before I get going on that, I’m just going to jump right into the topic I had planned for this morning!  Here we go!

 

You may notice on my Daily Workout Log that I took a rest day yesterday.  If you compare this week to the other weeks, you’ll notice that Wednesdays are rarely a rest day for me.  I usually like to take my rest days on Sundays, but this week my body was apparently telling me something different.  On Tuesday my body felt exhausted, my feet were sore, my joints were hurting, and I just wasn’t “feelin’ it”.  Yet, I still continued with my planned cardio workout.  I’ll be honest, the workout was terrible and I really had to push to get through it.  I knew that my body was screaming at me, but I still pushed it.  After my workout I realized this wasn’t the right choice.  I needed to listen to my body.  I decided to make sure to get a good night of rest and hoped that I’d feel better the next day (Wednesday).

 

Initially when I woke up yesterday I was planning on doing my regularly scheduled workout.  I went through my regular pre-workout early morning routine, and then it hit me.  My body still felt tired, my feet were still sore, my joints were still bothering me.  My body needed rest!  That was when I realized I was going to take an “unplanned rest day”.  I had the time, I had it planned, I even had the motivation to workout, but I didn’t have the energy and strength that my body needed to get me through it. 

Resting at its finest! :)

 

It honestly bothered me throughout the day that I was taking an unplanned rest day.  I am such a routined person, so when something is out of the norm, I honestly hate it.  But I kept reminding myself that this is what my body needed.  This is when I needed to remember that taking rest days is just as important as fitting in regular exercise.  

 

I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better.  More rested.  More energy.  Less sore.  This makes it even more apparent to me that taking a rest day is just what I neededHave you been listening to your body lately? 

 

Questions:

  • Do you struggle taking unplanned rest days?
  • Do you find it challenging to listen to your body? 
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