Wow, it’s February!
How the heck did that happen? In the blink of an eye January bit the dust!
On the upside, have you noticed that at 5 pm it’s still light and bright outside, this almost calls for a celebration. It has felt positively spring-like in Seattle this week. Roll on summer!
Who is working on their rest days?.
Let me clarify, do you need to work on taking rest days?
New Year, new workout regime? Are you upping the ante without upping the time needed to recoup the benefits?
When you are on roll, and you’re feeling like you are on fire, it can be tempting to avoid or limit your downtime and just keep going. While I admire your dedication and motivation, extreme workout habits may not be doing you any favors. Now, I know who reads this newsletter (or doesn’t) and I don’t think any of you fall into this category but as your trainer, it is worth a mention to keep you injury free all year long.
If working out is good, working out a lot must be better, right? Not necessarily, during your rest days and recovery periods, your body does the work necessary to become stronger than it was before your last workout. Working out, especially with weights, creates tiny tears in your muscles; when the body repairs the tear, your muscles become and stronger. If you don’t take time for this healing process, you are at risk for doing some serious damage. And this damage isn’t just physical! Overtraining can lead to exhaustion, lethargy, and an overall lack of motivation.
1. Glycogen levels drop
Glycogen is what your body uses for energy. You don’t want your glycogen levels to drop, can cause your muscles to fatigue more quickly than usual.
2. Your don’t performance as well.
That’s right, if your muscles are fatiguing more quickly than usual, your workout won’t be very effective. Not only will you be unable to go as far as usually do, but you also won’t be able to go as hard or as heavy. When your muscles are fatigued your form can suffer, leaving you open to an injury.
3. You’ll lose muscle mass.
As mentioned earlier, when working out the breakdown of your muscles causes microtears, so if you don’t allow time for rest you will be breaking down your muscles without giving them a chance to rebuild. This can only lead to one thing: a decline in muscle quality and quantity.
4. You’re more likely to get sick.
When you don’t rest, you put stress on your body. This stress raises the level of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Who want’s to get sick for the sake of a workout?
Sometimes less is more, it is important that you allow yourself one or two days a week to rest and recover. Listen to your body, keep moving with some light activity, go for a walk, take a hike or ground yourself with a little bit of yoga. Taking time to focus on you and stretching, don’t forget, it’s all about balance.
About Zoë Dodds
Life, Health, and Fitness Coach
Zoë has a passion for helping and empowering women to the best version of themselves.
With 20 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry, she delivers inspiration and wealth of knowledge to her clients, some of which she shares in her blog and weekly newsletters.
Originally from England, Zoë has lived in Seattle for 9 years with her husband, two grown-up children and a Labrador called Jordi.
Click here to read more.