TGIF! After a pretty hot week here things are cooling off again (in the 50s) and we have a couple rainy days in the forecast. As much as I’d rather have rain on the days when I’m working in the office, sometimes I think rainy weekends are Mother Nature’s way of giving me permission to rest a bit 🙂 Otherwise I’d be outside/running around as much as I possibly can. No naps when it’s sunny! (Okay, not entirely true…)
This week was so-so for me in the workout arena. Monday I was able to get a modified Insanity workout in first thing, with some Barre legs and Aqua Aerobics later. But once Wednesday hit, I lost motivation/steam. Thursday morning I’d forgotten to set my alarm and slept in until a little after 7 a.m…not that late, but it’s an hour later than I usually set it. However I ended up being able to still get Lower Fix Extreme in and shower before heading to the office, and minus the initial nausea ended up having a very productive day. That extra hour was probably necessary so I didn’t stress out about it.
It did end up being a great evening for a hike so I made what will probably be my last voyage up Dorr Mountain after work. I’ll miss the views but hopefully it will still be there in the fall 😉
Still in the process of studying for my ACE Personal Trainer exam, I’m in the Human Anatomy section right now and it is a lot of memorization! Back in high school I took Anatomy & Physiology so some of it is familiar. In the Muscular System now and afterwards it’s on to Exercise Physiology (i.e. the good stuff). I’m in crunch time for studying and hoping to be done with the Anatomy & Physiology sections pre-baby, plus the workout design part looks fun and challenging!
Here is the week in workouts before getting into this week’s topic:
Monday: Insanity Max 30: Sweat Intervals (Modifier), Barre Legs, Aqua Aerobics, 20 minute walk
Tuesday: Plyo Fix Extreme, Upper Fix Extreme, 50 minute walk
Wednesday: Focus T-25 Rip’t Circuit, Prenatal Cardio (20 minutes), 10 minutes lifting, Aqua Aerobics
Thursday: Lower Fix Extreme, 3.5 mile hike up Dorr
Friday: Cardio Fix Extreme, 30 minutes Elliptical, 25 minutes treadmill
Signs You Should Take a Day Off (or Do an Easier Workout)
We all have those off days where we don’t want to get out of bed, let alone do any sort of workout. Sometimes it’s just something we can shake off, once we warm up or get a mile into a run, that “bleh” feeling is gone and we’re ready to GO! But…some days, that’s not the case, and we really do need a day off.
Sign #1: Something is definitely not normal. This means you’re actively puking/bleeding/having abnormal, more than usual pain anywhere (especially joints). In any of these cases I’d probably recommend seeking a doctor’s help rather than trying to suffer through a workout.
Sign #2: You’re feeling groggy and not quite your usual self, but who knows, a good sweat sesh might be all you need. In this case, do a longer than usual warm up and ease into the workout. If things start turning around and you feel yourself starting to feel better, then by all means go for it! If not though, either drop down to something easier (if you’re trying to do a speed workout, switch to a lighter jog or walk, or instead of HIIT, go for a walk/do some yoga) or take a day off.
Sign #3: You didn’t get any sleep the night before. This is another tough one. While workouts can be energizing, I wouldn’t recommend doing anything crazy/difficult on little sleep. Some yoga, pilates, or a walk are all low impact workouts that are a bit kinder to overtired bodies. If you’re really dragging, take a day off though. Being overtired is no fun and you probably aren’t doing your body any favors.
Sign #4: You’re sore all over (because you just did a hard workout the day before). Usually the day after (or even a couple days after) running a marathon, I would do some stretching exercises, foam rolling, and bike/elliptical with little/no resistance. This kept my muscles happy while allowing them to recover. Recently I read this post from Carrot’s N Cake where she talks about taking a few days off completely from working out after a full week of hard workouts. Your body knows what it needs and if it’s sore and screaming (or even mumbling) for rest, listen up!
Sign #5: Things that are typically easy feel more difficult than usual. While going for a slower than usual run once a week can actually be beneficial for your training, if you feel like your exertion is a 10 but your speed is a 3 (for you), it may be a sign that your legs aren’t up for the challenge. The same goes for weight training- some days it’s good to lift a little lighter but if a normally okay 5 lb. dumbbell makes you feel like you totally understand Atlas’ pain (yanno, the guy from Greek mythology that holds the world on his shoulders), it’s time for a day off.
If you need another reason to take a day off now and then, check out this post on 5 ways a day off from the gym is actually good for you. This post from Shape also illustrates some signs you should take a rest day with the help of gifs.
What are your signs that you need a day off from fitness?
How were your workouts this week?