Yes, this is a thing! It’s actually a great thing that I have been slowly learning to embrace. Take this weekend as a perfect example….I am in the process, the slow, excruciatingly painful process, of trying to buy my first home. I am at the end of the journey thankfully so I started doing some serious packing and moving most of my worldly possessions into storage this weekend. I dedicated all day Saturday to this chore and by the end of the day I was exhausted! You never really realize how much stuff you have accumulated until you go to pack and move it all! I didn’t workout on Saturday because honestly packing and moving is a workout in itself but a part of me always feel guilty when I don’t get at least 30 minutes in of some sort of formal workout. Anyway, I went to bed Saturday night promising myself I would get a good sweat session in on Sunday.
Well Sunday rolled around and I woke up feeling pretttttttty rough! I think the combo of all the things going on in my life just caught up to me. I don’t mean to complain whatsoever because I am extremely grateful for all that I have, but sometimes even positive things like buying a house, being super busy at work and trying to keep up with friends and family can be taxing. I hadn’t slept that well Saturday night and when I finally pulled myself out of bed on Sunday my head was pounding and my body was saying you aren’t 21 years old anymore sister! I knew pretty instantaneously this wasn’t going to be a day where I pushed it in the workout department. I have learned a very valuable lesson over the past almost 7 months of this journey which is sometimes you have to listen to your body when it’s telling you to take it easy!
Now taking it easy because you just don’t feel like getting off the couch and making the effort is entirely different than your body being taxed and telling you to please give it time to recover. I have also gotten pretty good at distinguishing which scenario is going on when with me when those days pop up where for one reason or another I don’t feel like working out. One reason is physical (my body is asking for a break) and the other is mental (laziness is usually the culprit here). I could tell on Sunday that even though I really wanted to go get a good sweat on, my body was asking me to please go easy.
So I did. Well mostly. I definitely eased into the day and took my time and some Advil to soothe the sore muscles and headache. I ate a good breakfast, drank a few cups of coffee and snuggled with my fur babies for while. Early afternoon came around and I started feeling a little more human and also a bit cagey. I knew the pups were feeling it too so seeing it was a bright, sunny day outside I thought maybe some sunshine and light activity would nurse me the rest of the way back to health. I also really wanted to get outside for a bit. There is something about being out in nature after sitting at a desk in an office all week that really helps to reset me and prepare me for the upcoming week.
So I threw on my Nikes, leashed up the pups and jumped in the car. I am fortunate to only live a few minutes away from a really nice lake with a ton of walking/hiking trails so I headed there and I am so glad I did! I only ended up hiking about 2 miles but it really felt good to get out and stretch my legs (pics below)! 🙂
The pups got a chance to splash around in the lake and make some new doggy friends and I was able to get that much needed fresh air and a little bit of light activity in to boot. While this was no means the hardcore workout I had intended to get in over the weekend I was able to actively rest my body while doing so much good for my mental health along the way.
Actively resting is definitely something I am so happy I have discovered and worked into my fitness routine. For me active resting means that I am still being active but at a much less intense level than I would in a regular workout. Now these days are different for me than actual rest days when I really don’t get off the couch! Rest days are super important as well because you need time to let your body heal itself. Full rest days usually involve getting extra sleep and really recharging both mentally and physically. It is so important to incorporate full rest days as well because if you don’t you run the risk of undoing all the hard work you have put in by overtaxing your body, burning out and/or injuring yourself.
Once again everyone is different, every body is different and everyone’s training goals are different. The amount of rest you need varies depending on your level of training and physical ability. As a general rule I rest muscle groups until the aren’t sore anymore. So for instance if I do a bicep workout and wake up sore the next day, I wait to train them again until the soreness is gone. I always actively rest at least once a week and usually fully rest once a week as well. But again everyone is different and honestly no two weeks for me are the same either. More than anything I listen to my body like I did over this past weekend and train and rest accordingly. In my opinion, you can never go wrong when you pay attention to the signals your body is sending you. It knows when you need to rest, it knows when you can push it and it knows when you can do a little of both. Give you body what it needs to be strong and healthy but also listen to it when it is telling you to provide it with the time to rebuild, recharge and heal!