Last week, I talked about the 10 reasons to take a rest day so I’m hoping we can all be on the same page here and agree that rest days are essential. All in agreement? GREAT. Okay, so now that we’re all resting…now what?? I’m not sure about you, but I definitely love a good rest day…especially when I’ve earned it!
First off, good for you taking a rest day and listening to your body. So smart to let your body rest and restore and most importantly of all avoid injury! Lately, I’ve gotten loads better with fitting in a rest day when my body has just had enough.The other week, I got all dressed in workout clothes, filled my water, turned on music, and pulled up my workout…I did my first squat and BOOM, my body said NOPE. Okay, okay body…I hear you…tricep dips? NOPE. Okay, looks like a rest day is in order!
I can’t lie though…some days rest days fall on days that I basically just can’t possibly fit in a workout because of a kooky schedule. For each scenario, I have a different rest day plan…here they are!
Rest day for your body’s sake!
1. Stretch it out!
Just because you’re resting, doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some sort of active resting. Rest days are PERFECT for yoga, but I’m not talking about the day to go all out for a crazy 90 minute power yoga. Think mediation and stretching! The goal is to stretch out those tight muscles and rest! Looking for more on yoga routines for runners? Check this out!
2. Roll it out!
Ughh, foam rolling…such a love/hate relationship. Foam rolling is kind of a new trend in the workout world, but man oh man is it awesome. Okay, this is no where near enough of a justification or explanation of foam rolling, but basically foam rolling increases blood flow to aid in the healing and restoration of sore muscles. Think deep tissue massage! Foam rolling can be a great pre or post workout plan on a daily routine or can be a great rest day activity for those days that you really can’t bear to move!
3. Plan, plan, plan!
Gosh, I know, I love planning…but a rest day is a perfect time to do it! I love to spend the extra time that I’m not working out planning my meals and scheduling the rest of my workouts for the week. I love to know that going forward for the week I have a plan of how to meet my fitness goals. All about productive rest!
4. Just relax
Oh, right! The best thing to do on a rest day when you actually have time to really relax is to do something to really take care of yourself. Take a bath, drink some tea, watch some (or tons) of Bravo…whatever! Just do whatever you want to do to take care of yourself and reward yourself for all of your hard work!
Wouldn’t it be great if every rest day could be like that? Ah, yes. Just laying in the bathtub for hours on end while watching Bravo while doing yoga…Okay, maybe not, but you get the point. How about those days that you have a default rest day? Those days where the only way you could fit in a workout would be if you were doing step ups while eating lunch and tricep dips while on a conference call, um, NOT going to happen! Here’s my plan for days like that!
Rest day for your schedule’s sake!
1. Guzzle water
Water is essential everyday, but on those days that can’t hit up your workout make sure you get your H20 fill! Looking for ways to up your water intake? Check this out!!
2. Stretch it out!
Okay, okay…today is definitely not the day for a yoga class, but try to incorporate even just a 10 minute stretching routine just to help those muscles recover. How about when the coffee is brewing? Or dinner is cooking? Aim for 10 minutes!
3. Get physical!
Just because you can’t get to the gym and devote your 60 minutes for a serious workout try to incorporate a little physical activity in your daily routine. Maybe you can walk for 15 minutes during lunch? Maybe you can stretch while on a call? Even 2 minutes will be great to get the blood pumping a little and help those muscles recover!
4. Pick healthy options!
Since you aren’t hitting up the gym, try to be cautious about what your food choices are since…well, there isn’t going to be that gym burn to balance it out! Sorry, just being honest 😉 I know it can be so tough to make healthy meal choices when you don’t have hours and hours to cook and prep.
For a crazy day, meal prep would be ideal but I totally agree that some days thats just not possible. For days like that I typically will grab a yogurt with a little granola and fruit for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and fruits, veggies and nuts for snacks! Also, if you have 15 minutes you can whip up this for dinner!
There it is! The bottom line is rest is essential…for your body and your balance. Pick the days and times that work best for you and do the rest thing the right way!
So now your turn, how do you do the Rest Day thing? Do you do more rest days according to your body’s signs or according to your schedule?