Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Even God took a rest day, so should you!

Hey everyone, it's been a very snowy winter here in NY! I love the cold and the snow so I have no complaints :)

I know a lot of people who hate to train in the winter because they say it's too cold and they prefer the warmer weather to train. These are also the same people who are upset with themselves in the summer that they didn't begin training in the winter to get their bodies in summer shape. So, what happens? They say it's too late now or I have better things to do in the summer than working out and then put it off and they get to the Fall/Winter months and go back to their it's too cold excuse and the merry-go-round keeps going round and round. Sorry for going off on that tangent but it's just a pet peeve of mine and something I hear a lot from people as excuses for not wanting to motivate themselves to workout. Not good. There should be no excuses! Just workout. Claim your body and health back. Period.

Ok {takes breath}, back to my monthly topic. Resting and recuperation. Do you think you get enough for your body's needs? Let's find out. A lot of people go to extremes when they try to diet or exercise. If they are dieting then they're going to starve themselves to lose the weight. Wrong approach. A starved body will only store whatever calories it takes in. If they decide to exercise, they either decide one of two things. They are going to only do ab exercises such as crunches in an effort to spot reduce the belly flab. That won't work, you can't spot reduce. Worse yet is the people that get duped into buying ab gadgets on TV so they can spot reduce. It has to be an overall body effort when it comes to exercise. The other thing they'll do is get on a treadmill or elliptical and go at it hardcore right from the get-go without any build-up or anything. Wrong. So what happens to these people? They see no results after 2 weeks and give up. Is it any wonder why they see no results? When it comes to dieting, you have to stick to it but you also have to do it right but that's a discussion for another day (or you can look back through my blog for more on dieting correctly). When it comes to exercise, you not only have to have an overall body attack and workout all your bodyparts but you also have to schedule in rest days to give your body a chance to recuperate. Very important. Your body only recuperates itself when you give it proper rest. Remember, your body is also getting stressed from work, school, relationships, etc. Exercise is a great stress buster but it's also a form of stress that's being introduced to the body in an effort to make it stronger. So what is a good rest period? A good exercise schedule that most people (that work, are older, have less time, etc.) can handle easily is a 2 days on and 1 day off schedule. Meaning you workout 2 days in a row, then take a rest day. If you are younger or have the energy for it, you can do a typical and more traditional 3 days on, 1 day off schedule and if you go at it pretty heavy you can even do a 3 days on, 2 days off schedule. However, that's for people that train heavy. You don't typically want 2 days off. The body adapts quickly and 2 days off will only slow down gains and progress for someone doing a normal workout.

So, now that you know what to do when it comes to taking a rest day, let's talk about how much rest you should have. Getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night is very important. Again, you are stressing your body with the workouts on top of your other stresses so your body NEEDS rest. Without the proper amount of rest, you will see much less progress with not only from your exercises but also from your diet. Make sure your body gets the rest it deserves.