Fitness Friday: The Importance of Rest!!!!

“Liz.” That is what I said when we were going around the room introducing ourselves. I quickly laughed and said “LaShanda” and kept it moving. This was last Monday. I was worn out and fatigued, but had gotten adequate sleep. I went to the gym later that day to do my lifting, but I could barely get through the workout. It was like I was in a fog, and I didn’t know why!

Then came last Tuesday. Our security guard asked me: “Are you alright? You look a bit tired.” My eyes were puffy and I moved quite slow. I replied that I was a bit tired, but I was alright. I was talking to my friend Tracie about these mystery symptoms and she said: “You could be overtraining.” WHAT? Is there such a thing? Too work out too much?

My interest was piqued. I went to the lovely Google and searched symptoms of overtraining. Sure enough, I had them a few. Some symptoms are fatigue, malaise, increased susceptibility to illness, depression, craving sweets (well, that’s all the time), elevated heart rate and bodyaches.

I talked to my chiropractor and personal trainer at my job’s wellness center and they both agreed: You need to take a week off! The personal trainer knows that I am doing Rachel Cosgrove’s plan and she said that heavy weight training requires time for your body to heal! She told me this “Once you overtrain, you’ll never do it again!”

The take home message to was this: you are essentially tearing those muscles up and if you don’t give them time to recover, your body will send out stress signals (e.g. cortisol), which can cause those symptoms of overtraining to appear! So starting last Tuesday, I took the week off. I did not do anything, I even banned yoga! I gave my body ample time to rest and recover and lo and behold! The fog slowly lifted! By Friday, I felt 1000x better!

So what this means for me going forward is that I have to set aside one FULL day for rest. That means no more “yoga-is-my-rest-day.” The yoga that I do can get intense, so I need time to recover from that as well! Also, I was told by several people that every 6-8 weeks, take one full week off for extended recovery.

Other than that, everything is going well in my fitness regimen! I lost a few pounds of fat (yahooo!!!) and can definitely see my muscle tone!

For your viewing pleasure, here is me doing yoga on the beach a few weeks ago!