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Put an end to "all or nothing"

It seems to be a bit of a trend in the past week, and as a general rule, that some of the most important advice I give my clients is to listen to their bodies, and allow themselves a weekly or at least an occasional rest and recovery day. 

For some that means an easy bike ride, a stroll with a friend or a run "without watching your numbers," as part of their weekly activity plan.  Everyone seems to know that the biggest means of sabotage in starting an exercise plan is not being realistic about how much time you can contribute to exercise, and when it doesn't work out, or other parts of our life are being negatively impacted, the whole plan goes out the window. 

One of my clients has been working with me for a few months now, and has been gearing up for a hiking and biking trip to Moab, Utah and Nevada.  We had set up a plan of interval training on the bike two days per week, and a day of a moderate intensity ride another day of the week. The moderate intensity days add mental and physical recovery to her routine.

Another client is training for the Miracle Beach 10km, and although we have put together some tough workouts for her training runs, we also talked about the importance of those "easy" days.

Some of the benefits:

  • Increase blood flow to clear waste products and allow recovery, without the deletiorious effects of a "training" session.
  • Benefits of stress management
  • Acts like cross training - working your muscles in different ways allows for greater overall adaptation
  • Trains your body to use energy stored in your muscles in a more aerobic way (avoiding lactate buildup and fatigue) and utilize aerobic energy pathways
  • Increases capillary density in your muscles (increasing your aerobic fitness by getting more oxygen to your working muscles and putting less load on your body at a given intensity)

In the end, it's most important to just keep moving and listen to your body - you will be much farther ahead, and closer to your goals in the end by taking the occassional easy day.

Here's an article of interest as well.

Hope to see you at this weeks Heart Strong Walking group!  Call, facebook message or email to register!



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