6. March 2014 by swissfitchick
By the end of this post, you will probably shake your head and say:’ I told you so. I could have told you that. Everyone knows that.’
I know. I get it. But think about this: I am blonde, I am stubborn and I live my life in extremes. Finding balance is one of the most difficult tasks for me, cause I kind of naturally fall into an extreme. Black or white. On or off. Very much or not at all. That’s me and it is my life task to find a balance in everything I do (except alcohol and cigarettes. These are things I never really found myself completely off but never desperately tempted either. Ok, Prosecco is a little problem, but verrrrrry little🙂 ). I am addcited to exercise and considering this fact, I must say I did pretty darn well in the last 8 months. I decreased my amount of exercising a lot – for many people I still work out like a mad woman, but compared to what I did before, my workout plan is pretty decent (90 minutes 5 days a week instead of 2,5 hours 6-7 times a week). What happens is, that I plan my workouts and restdays and then I start to randomly increase workout time, add a little workout here and there and then I am in the overtraining mode again. Honestly, sometimes I don’t even realize it.
Now last week, my body forced me to take a 6 days FULL rest. After tearing my spinal disk at Crossfit, I had such awful pain, that I could hardly walk. Even if I wanted, there was NO way of thinking about a workout. So I rested. And rested more.
I literally laid or stood around all day (sitting was not an option), I took a few walks and slept a ton of hours. I did watch my calorie intake a bit, but not as much as I thought I would. I ate chocolate daily and I even went out with my friend one night and had a few drinks. Yeah. New score on my recovery list. Now a new experience to me was the way my body felt these days. Apart from the backpain, I honestly felt better than ever before.
- I had no tummy issues at all – my tummy was flat all the time and not bloated at all
- I started to lean out = shed water from not working out (the body retains water to ‘heal’ the muscles after a workout)
- I was calm, happy, relaxed and I slept wonderful
- My digestion worked like a clock (sorry TMI!!)
- I did not gain any weight at all
Now you can imagine that I was kind of thrilled to see my abs popping out while I was hanging around like a lazy bum🙂 Of course this does not mean that I can take 6 days of rest every week🙂 BUT, it shows how much my body appreciates the rest, the relaxation, the sleep, the recovery. And that it actually can develop its fit form in the recovery phase. We must not forget, that workouts are a stress for our bodies. And as every stress in our lives, depending on the level, it can be good or bad. Some stress gives us a high&happy feeling, too much stress releases stress hormones and gives us the ‘bad stress’ symptoms which we probably all know.
So as long as our bodies are challenged in a good way in terms of workouts, that is a good thing. We feel strong, energized and we develop a fit figure. Though if we don’t give the body time to ‘grow’ those muscles, to recover and to reload the batteries, it’s counter productive. I found a good explanation on sportmedicine.about.com:
‘Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) as well as fluid loss.
Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. Symptoms of overtraining often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of overtraining include a feeling of general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among others.’
My goal for this month and all the coming ones is to include AT LEAST 2 restdays, if possible 3. Or a Yoga/light Cardio day for the third one. And on the other 4-5 days – I give it ALL and WORK those muscles!! Source
Are you in with me? Sweat? Fuel well? Rest? Sleep? Repeat?
Do you embrace your restdays or is it a struggle for you?
Are you good at keeping the balance?