I wanted to write this posting because this is something I am going through right now. I know I am constantly posting about my workouts and “go, go, go!” all of the time, but the past 9 days have been a bit different. I challenge myself a lot and train really, really hard but one thing I have gotten really good at is listening to my body.
I wasn’t always good at that. I used to push myself to the absolute limit no matter how I was feeling or what my body was trying to communicate to me. That was when I was in college and younger and had much more energy and power than I do (or choose to put forth) now.
No matter where you are on your fitness journey, it’s important to get really good at pushing & motivating yourself and getting out of your comfort zone. But, it’s equally as important to be in tune with your body and listen to what it’s trying to say to you.
The last 2 weeks were really busy at work and then, to top it off, we had the Runtastic LIVE Workout Party in Munich last Sunday. The next day I could just feel my body was completely exhausted. But then the following Wednesday and Thursday I filmed tons of workout videos for the Runtastic Fitness Channel and a new episode of Seal The Deal. During this time I had to make an executive decision that I couldn’t continue with my normal workouts and I absolutely had to focus on rest and nutrition only…as well as getting my work done. I just had to stay as healthy as possible.
Then this happened last week on Twitter.
p.s. I love interacting with you guys on Twitter, feel free to tweet me any time 🙂
Of course, that’s not the entire conversation in order and it was funny and in good humor. But, yes I am human! I don’t have an unlimited energy supply and my body is not a machine (even though I secretly wish it was).
The point is, everybody needs a break no matter how fit you are. But, it’s important that you differentiate between a break and being lazy!
Here are some key factors I pay attention to when I decide it’s time to tone it down:
- If I feel constantly thirsty no matter how much water I drink.
- When I sleep 8-9 hours (which I know my body needs), but I still feel tired!
- I do a workout and my muscles are extremely sore for longer than 2 days.
- My brain feels foggy and I can’t concentrate and focus.
- I look in the mirror and think: “Damn girl, you need a break!”
These are some key signs of over training and over training can lead to injury. If I get injured because I don’t listen to my body then I really have a problem. Staying physically fit and healthy is a huge part of my job and my life.
What does a rest period look like for me?
- I drink tons of water, greens juice and herbal teas.
- I try to plan for at least 9 hours of sleep every night.
- I go for brisk walks nearly every day. Super slow and super easy.
- I take baths a lot in the evenings. But during this time I try to do a lavender or Epsom salt bath nearly every night. This makes me really relaxed before I fall asleep.
- I keep my nutrition ON POINT! Full of tons of fibrous veggies, antioxidants and fiber. (Like this Vegan Burrito Bowl below)
This doesn’t mean that I am not taking care of myself or trying to get sufficient sleep during a normal day or week. But I put myself in what I like to call “focused recovery mode.” I am not just sitting on my ass and eating crap. I am really trying to tune into my body and let it tell me when it’s okay to be back in “go mode” again.
Here’s a scenario I have seen happen too many times: You get overwhelmed with work and training and you take a break to recover but then you never get back into your training and activity or you have the hardest time re-motivating yourself again.
This is something I do not want to happen at all!
So why am I sharing this with you? Well, one to let you know that we are ALL human and there are times like this for me and there will be times like this for you. Don’t get discouraged, don’t fall a part of let all of your goals and focus diminish. Use this time to recharge your body so you can get back on your feet and get stronger as soon as possible.
I love you all very much! Remember, this is a journey and fitness is for life!
p.s. I did my first workout back today. Some hot yoga and it felt awesome. Looking forward to moving my body more and more and slowly easing back into things.