I love being active, but I know that rest is essential within my lifestyle. With all the technology around and activities I do, it can overwhelm my body and mind when I go non-stop. It is important to mentally and physically rest to prevent that burnt out feeling. Although, I will admit, I do not practice this as often as I should. I can be very go-go-go! So I am partially writing this as a remind to myself just how imperative it is for me to incorporate in my schedule regularly.
It seems as though I live on my phone or computer between work and trying to stay connected with my friends and family back home. It can be quite draining to stare at a screen all day, not to mention it negatively impacts your sleep. I really appreciate the time without all the technology, where I am truly disconnected. It is rare when it happens, but so needed.
Nature and music really bring me peace. Although there may be so many moments where I want to share what I am are experiencing, the tech can distract from my leisure time. Like when Snapchat or Instagram run into an error or I do not have signal to send my videos or pictures. Plus, the beauty of that place or moment never seems to be completely encompassed by my social media posts.
While I was in Austin last month, I actually did not use my phone or computer much. I tried to enjoy my surroundings and the time I had with my partner. I scheduled time to be on my computer for working on the blog or writing emails, but the hotel did not have free wifi so I hardly used my laptop. Initially it was frustrating, but then so freeing. On my next vacation I may not even bring my laptop with me. I felt I could enjoy more and do just whatever I like. Usually, that feeling only happens when I go camping where the disconnection is forced.
Another mental regimen I do is meditation. I still feel like a beginner at this, but I just get into a comfortable position (either laying down without a pillow or seated on the floor with my legs crossed) and focus on how I am mentally. I may think through the things I struggle to letting go of or concentrate on what I am most grateful for. Centering my thoughts around what I am thankful for really puts my mind at ease and comforts me. This also resets my way of thinking when I feel like I am in a rut.
Physically resting is necessary to prevent injury and help you recover from workouts. When we run, strength train, bike, etc., we are breaking down our muscles. Over using your muscles and joints does not allow the break down that occurs a chance to heal and become stronger. This is why nutrition and rest are your muscles best friends. They are key for rebuilding your muscles after a fierce workout .
So earlier this year I did BBG for almost 6 straight months, I also continued to run since Winter 2015-2016 was calm. I had heard that you should take some time off from your workout routine every 3 months or so, but I just kept going right on from BBG 1.0 to BBG 2.0. Big mistake! By week 18, I began to feel run down and things just got worse from there.
Then I came down with the flu for the first time in my life and it hit me hard. I developed chest congestion which kept me from running for a whole month. I knew you could develop pneumonia from running with chest congestion so I played it smart. There were so many perfect running days I felt I missed out on. When it seemed like I was finally in the clear to run, I pulled my left lat muscle during my last week of BBG 2.0.
Lesson learned the hard way. Your body needs that break or it will tell you it needs it through an injury or illness. A day or, even better, a week off, you will not regret! It will make getting back into your fitness routine exciting and satisfying. Now, I take a week off of strength training and cardio every 3 months. I am still active, I walk places and I do some yoga, but it is focused on gentle relaxation. I also eat really healthy during that week to give my muscles the nutrients they deserve.
How do you take breaks? And do you have a way you prioritize them?