Sunday, 2 June 2013

Finally taking a proper rest day

For a while now several people have been telling me about the importance of taking a real rest day at least once a week.  I have been reluctant to do so up to now for purely selfish reasons - - I get to eat more food when I work out.  With my base allowed calories down to 1,480 calories per day, it's difficult to keep my numbers within allowable limits without doing at least some workout.

But comments from the Matriarch and several esteemed friends notwithstanding, there is ample research supporting the idea that taking a rest day every week is important.  The body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually make you weaker. 

Without rest days, there is also the risk of overtraining.  Signs of overtraining include a feeling of general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among others.  Since I already have a predisposition to depression it's important not to exacerbate this by pushing myself without a break. 

Not only that, overtraining can lead to a weight loss plateau, which ironically, is exactly the thing that all this working out is designed to avoid. 

To accommodate my newly incorporated rest day into my routine, I have changed up my workouts.  For now, I will do free weights (8 lbs x 4 sets of 15 reps) + 70 minutes of elliptical (crossramp 8, tension 6-7) on Monday and Wednesday.  Tuesday and Thursday I will do 75 minutes of elliptical.  Saturday will be the long workout day, when I do 90 minutes on the elliptical.  Sunday will be my new rest day, when I do sleeping in, snuggling and napping. 

The reason I have moved the rest day to Sunday is that the Nerd and I are usually entertaining or visiting with friends on Saturdays, and it's simply too difficult to dine out and keep under 1,480 calories. 

This morning was the first official rest day, and the Nerd and I slept in to 9 am this morning - - no getting up at 4 am to fit in 3 hours of workouts between us before rushing out the door.  We had a nice lazy lie-in before a relaxed breakfast of eggs and avocado on toast. I suspect it will take a while for me to see a difference from this new program, but for now, I am feeling very relaxed, which I suppose is the whole point. 

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