Friday, 22 July 2016
Remember to rest
Ever since getting a gym membership a few weeks ago, I have really enjoyed being able to exercise regularly, regardless of the weather. I have also really enjoyed doing a wide variety of exercises instead of just walking like I used to do and I can already see my fitness and strength improving. Something incredibely important to remember is to make sure you have rest days, to give your body a break and allow it to repair and recover.
Something else to remember is that on rest days, you should not feel as though you cant eat as much as you usually would. If you only feel as though you can not or should not eat your regular intake if you are not doing exercise then this is not a healthy mindset to have and perhaps you aren't ready to start exercising again. You should not think of exercise as something you do so that you can eat, you should think of eating as something you do to keep you healthy and that gives your body the fuel it needs so that you can exercise when you want to.
For instance, I have been to the gym the last 4 days in a row and I am choosing to have a rest day today to allow my sore muscles to repair. I have full intention of eating my usual intake today even though I am not exercising. It has taken me a long time to change to this mindset but I am glad to say that my days of compensating for not exercising by eating less are over! I know that my body needs to be fueled properly EVERYDAY and that is exactly what I intend to do!
Although not as much energy will be required by your body for actual physical activity on rest days, if you eat your usual amount this just means that more energy will be available to help your body to repair and recover. It also gives your body a chance to replenish its energy stores which will prepare you for exercise again, next time you do work out. Rest days also give you a chance to focus on other important aspects of your life, that you may not usually have time. Remember that looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health.
The number of rest days a person takes is an individual choice however I think that people should try to rest atleast one day a week. Personally, I find I need atleast 2 rest days per week as I am still very new to working out and I dont want to rush my body into making progress too quickly. I also want to make sure that I am only exercising for the right reasons and that I am not getting addicted to exercise, as I know that this sometimes does happen post anorexia recovery.