A lot of my friends are athletes and lifters…and the common thread is that we all push ourselves incredibly hard. In my mind, that’s a good quality…but we CAN push a little too hard sometimes, and fail to take the time to recover that we are aware we need.
Most of us are completely cognizant of our body’s goings on – we posses a keen awareness of the different types of “pain,” whether it be muscular exertion (the “good” kind of muscle repair after lifting), injury pain (when we have definitely pushed too far), the pain of exhaustion and resultant overall fatigue (which affects the physiology, our mental acuity, our spiritual center even!…) But on occasion…if not maybe too often…we push through it.
We need to embrace that “rest day” we know is crucial to our muscular growth and development. We KNOW it, that’s the point…but taking it is another story.
As I’ve gone through assorted, rather debilitating injuries, compounded by time marching by (much to my chagrin!)…I’ve learned to tone it down when I need to. A day off may be exactly what’s in order, and your body WILL tell you.
But what about when you are traveling and you can’t get to a gym. Maybe it’s the kind of trip where it simply isn’t going to fit in… I would traditionally say to toss a few pushups, sit-ups, burpees, lunges…planks into the morning routine as you get up and get ready for your day. BUT…
Sometimes that is just not the reality, and it isn’t up to you. Shocker – it won’t always be, and it doesn’t HAVE to be!
There are times when taking a few days off…in a row…~*gasp!*~…is just what’s in order. It gives us an opportunity to FULLY recuperate, giving our muscles a well-deserved break.
I took four days off since last week…yes, in a row…and I’m so happy that I did! I used to have severe anxiety about it – for YEARS I couldn’t travel without having a meltdown. What was I going to eat? How was I going to workout? What would I do if I couldn’t…? Would I gain weight and have to work double-time to get it off?! It was paralyzing.
Over the years I have learned… I have forced myself to be uncomfortable, let go, and ACCEPT.
You are NOT going to gain substantial weight if you can’t make it to the gym for a few days.
You are NOT going to experience muscle atrophy.
You aren’t going to lose your strength or your hard-earned physique.
These may seem like silly notions to some…but if you are IN the fitness industry, if you are a figure (bikini, bodybuilding, fitness etc) competitor, or in a stringent sport…or maybe you have just suffered through eating disorders like I have…these anxieties are very real.
But when we DO go a couple of days, we find that we are still in good shape!
We haven’t dwindled to nothingness!
We haven’t suddenly outgrown our clothes!
And we are still just as strong.
In fact, I argue that after a much-needed break…I am stronger than I was before!
So DON’T stress – the world will not collapse and you will NOT be derailed. Only in your mind can that occur…and what’s the sense in that?
If you are on vacation or a leave…you are on it for a reason.
It will be okay!