Fitness, health and fitness, Uncategorized

How to Make the Most of Rest Days

Today is the first rest day in the Triple Threat program, and boy do I need it! I’m super sore still from Tuesday’s workout (my soreness usually reaches its peak 2 days later), and yesterday’s conditioning workout was brutal so I’m ready for a break. I must say I was pleased with how well my endurance held up though. I hated it all the way through and it was hard but I did it with very minimal extra rest, and the only exercises I had to modify were the pushups (by that point in the workout I didn’t have much upper body endurance left, so I did them from my knees instead) and Wall Sprawls. The Wall Sprawls were a new exercise to me and I didn’t trust my coordination to jump both feet against the wall at the same time without landing on my head, so I stepped up one foot at a time instead. But overall the workout was really good and I felt great afterwards.

This meme is the TRUTH. I dropped my phone on the floor last night and it was agony to pick it up. Can anyone else relate to trying to find a painless way to pick things up when you’re sore?

 

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For today’s post I figured I would take advantage of it being a rest day and talk about some ways you can optimize your health and fitness even on rest days. Let’s get started…

 

If you are sore…  I have extensive experience with rest day soreness (lol), so I will share with you some of the most helpful ways I’ve found to deal with that. Foam rolling is my most recent new fitness endeavor, and it has been helping a lot with my mobility, as well as relaxing tight, sore, or knotted up muscles. Since you aren’t doing a full workout, you can take that same amount of time (20-60 minutes) to do a nice long foam roller session. You could also take a warm bath in Epsom salts, do some dynamic stretching (like in the video below), or just go for a leisurely walk. The worst thing you can do for soreness is sit all day. Movement gets the blood flowing and helps the muscles relax and recuperate.

 

 

Mobility work…  Take advantage of your rest days and work on your flexibility and mobility. On non-rest days you are probably mostly focused on gaining strength or improving endurance, so by the time you finish your workout you probably don’t feel like taking extra time to stretch (I mean in addition to your cooldown). So rest days are the perfect time to really work on your flexibility. Search on Pinterest or Google for mobility drills, follow one of FitnessBlender’s stretching/yoga/pilates workouts, or just do a combination of your favorite stretches. The point is to take your time and relax. You should notice at least a slight improvement by the time you are done.

 

Light activity…  Rest days can be turned into active rest days if you are feeling the need to do something. You could go for a walk or bike ride, do some pilates or yoga, or do a short tabata workout. If you are a high energy person, there’s no reason you can’t get in some light activity, just don’t push yourself to the same point that you would in a regular workout.

 

Relax…  Make the most of your rest day by doing just that – rest. Do whatever it is that restores your energy and vitality. Read a book, take a bath, take a nap – find a way to completely be at ease for awhile. Remember that you aren’t being lazy. If you’ve worked hard the other days then you have more than earned some rest, and actually, rest is just as important as training for improving fitness.

 

Core work…  You could also do a short core workout, since you can never have too strong of a core. Just make sure you train all the muscles in your core, not just the “six pack.” Planks and hip bridges are 2 of the best exercises for strengthening the entire core. Blogiliates‘ plankathon workout is a fun challenge if you are up to the task, but don’t do it on your rest day if you are a beginner or you will pay for it big time tomorrow.

 

 

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