I used to think that taking a day off of exercise was merely just an old adage. People only said that so that you would not injure yourself. “I won’t injure myself, I’ve already broken both my feet in freak dance accidents – I’ve got this covered” Lately I’ve been understanding the necessity of a day off from exercise. I have been feeling pretty spent. Not only that, but I’ve found that it’s been easier for me to sleep during the week when I do take a day off (I do suffer from a bit of insomnia – though it is hereditary, thanks mom).
This feeling of being totally burnt out came from not taking a day off during one particularly week (but to be fair, it was the week I had my 10 k run and I was scrambling with fitting in runs). When I started feeling totally zonked I knew that I had to listen to what my body was telling me. There was a reason that I was feeling this way and the physical manifestation of exhaustion was my body’s way of saying “Hey girrrl, you need to cool it”. I have noticed an emphasis on the rest day as I’ve been deciding on what kind of training schedule I am going to use for my half-marathon prep. There are at least two rest days always included in this kind of schedule – although running is a very rigorous form of exercise and can be hard on your body. I also realize that strength training and yoga should be combined with this type of training regiment.
Most importantly, if you don’t remember to take a day off, you will find yourself overtraining which could prove disadvantageous to all of your hard work. You will increase your risk of muscle strain and injury. Your body needs to recover.
I think that the lesson I want to stress most here not only to myself but to you readers is to listen to your body. What is it saying to you? It is such an important vessel, you can treat it like a temple but at the end of the day you need to make friends with it. Check out these tips from mindbodygreen for listening to your body and its intuition: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4477/Listen-to-Your-Body-Talk.html. Remember that this is not a matter of giving up or being weak, it is simply being aware and gracious to your body’s needs. It doesn’t mean that you’re a wimp, it actually shows strength through actualization.
Everything in your body is interconnected, remember that:
“The thing to realize about the systems of the body is that they sing to one another. From the smallest cell to the largest organ, the systems of the body are wonderful, even magical, in the way that they work together in an interconnected synchronicity. Learn to listen to these vibrations and their signals.”