A wise yoga teacher once said, “You can schedule rest and recovery, or it will happen unscheduled.”
This Tip for Tuesday is dedicated to all the overachievers out there: CHILL OUT!
I’m bumping up my mileage with each week on this Road to Boston. My first 20 mile run of the season is two weeks away and I just logged 18 this past Saturday. Not to mention the other 15-20 miles throughout the week, the spin classes, the weight training. The walk between my car and the office is getting harder in high heels. I’m feeling it in my hamstrings, glutes and calves. Oh yea, then there’s my job, and friends, and social life that all need tending. I’m fighting off flu season like my life depended on it – and it does. Sleep is an issue. Somehow, I cannot turn my brain off at the end of the day. The alarm will ring at 5 a.m. regardless.
You know what this means?
I NEED TO REST.
You know what else it means?
Rest will not happen unless I schedule it.
I, you, we MUST schedule a rest day every single week. Our healthy, happy, uninjured bodies depend on it.
Yes, this is coming from the girl who consistently tells you to “keep going,” “don’t stop,” “onward,” “chase your goals.” I mean what I say to you, now and always. But you will have a hard time reaching your goals if you don’t schedule a rest day once a week.
I’m not suggesting that you sleep in every morning. Just pick one day per week where you allow your body recover from the hard workouts and high mileage.
Not a runner? High mileage definitely not an issue for you? This advice applies to you too! Maybe you need to give yourself one night a week where you don’t work late, go to a meeting, social event or philanthropic duty (Mom and Dad, I’m talking to you). Your mind needs a break just like your body. Instead of scheduling rest from physical activity, you may consider rest from mental activity. Put it on the calendar, Mom.
Embracing Rest & Recovery
Rest day can come in many shapes and sizes.
You can sleep in (even if everyone else is awake)…
Practice yoga in your den…
Go on a walk or hang with friends…
… or any other creative form of rest that gives your body/mind a break and works for you.
At the start of each week, I look at my training schedule. Sometimes I have to shift crossing training for running or running for rest, depending on work demands or weather. But one thing is certain – a rest day. Lately, my rest day is Friday (the day before my long run) and includes afternoon yoga. I like incorporating yoga because it makes me stretch, rejuvenates my mental game and gives my body a break from pounding into the pavement.
- Your performance suffers. “When sufficient rest is not included in a training program, your ability to perform (i.e., continue training, growing muscle, getting stronger) plateaus or declines, because your muscles literally cannot recover and regenerate. So things just get worse and worse.”
Yep – take it from me. I’ve had my fair share of runner injuries, from stress fractures to IT Band issues, tendinitis in my foot to hip flexor muscle strain. I can pretty much trace every injury back to overuse.
This also applies to those of you who need to schedule a mental break. I guarantee you will not perform as well in work or life if you overuse your brain and deplete your energy without a chance to recharge.
- You’ll feel AWFUL. “The tiny tears in your muscles cannot heal, which results in inflammation, swelling, and tenderness… You’ll feel physically exhausted for an extended period as well, which could make it hard for you to perform your day to day functions.”
No wonder I have a hard time doing simple things like… you know… walking.
- It messes with your mind. “The fatigue and distress extend psychologically.”
When you’re too tired, you may start to notice decreased motivation, raised tension, lack of confidence. That is no good, people!! I want you motivated, positive and confident!
Read full article here.
For us overachievers, it is hard to pick a day to slow down and rest – I get it. Just think about how much you want to run that race this spring, healthy, happy and uninjured. Or consider how great it would feel to pop up in the morning with energy, ready to tackle the busy day ahead. Let that motivate you to schedule rest and recovery. Figure out what works best for you, your time and your body – and give yourself a break for goodness sake!
See you out here.
PS. The yoga teacher quote in the beginning is Coach-Cuz Allen’s yoga instructor in Chapel Hill. The yogi in the pictures is my dear friend, Leigh Habbeger.