Moving Is The Thing Over 50

MOVING IS THE THING

Just because I love to run doesn't mean I think it is right for everyone. The point I'm trying to make is that an appropriate level of physical activity is important for everyone for good health, mind and body. We all need to find what makes us feel like a kid again and do it often. Start by thinking about what activities you loved as a child. I loved to run. I can remember my mom saying all the time, "Cheryl has two speeds, running and asleep." I have not changed. I would rather run than walk most of the time. When I run I feel like I leave all my troubles behind in the wind. I seem to think more clearly while running. I plan what I want to do for the day, I think of fun conversations and about almost anything positive. It is meditation for me.

How much I run and how often varies day-to-day or month-to-month. And that is part of the benefit. When you played as child, you didn't do the same thing every day, you mixed it up because it was about having fun not forcing yourself to get a workout in.

Right now I am running three miles every other day and then on the alternate days I am doing a 30 minute yoga practice and a bare bones strength training routine that incorporates push-ups (for upper body), dead lifts (for core), planks (core), squats and lunges (lower body) and tricep-dips (arms). The first three exercises use major muscle groups and the tricep-dips I added because that is an area I want to firm up more. I found a fun 30 day Plank Challenge app for my phone that leads me through daily planks to help me build my core and I love how it takes only a couple of minutes and makes such a difference. I take one day off and some days instead of my usual routine I take walks or hikes for fun with my husband.

THE TRUTH According to Science

For the over fifty crowd, common sense and, increasingly, research suggests that constant use will slow the loss of our physical capabilities, form, and balance. The same research shows that, once lost, it may be difficult or impossible to regain former capabilities. The problem centers on the nerves that control our muscles. From 50 or 60 on, the permanent loss of the nerve connections to our muscles begins to accelerate. Depressing, I know but a recent study by McPhee published in the Journal of Physiology provides reason for optimism for those who stay fit.

As it turns out, older healthy muscles (meaning well developed through frequent exercise, good diet, etc.) enjoy a protection that less healthy muscles do not. Even though nerves controlling muscles decline with age, and this decline accelerates over 50 or 60, surviving nerves in healthy muscles can send out new branches to rescue muscles and stop them from wasting away.

This study by the American Journal of Physiology was conducted on men but it may be true for women as well.

Translation? If you keep at it, your ability to play tennis, lift weights, cycle, and so forth can be retained with minimal loss of nerve connections, although other studies show that you will need to spend more time exercising as you age to achieve the same results. Constantly used and challenged nerve connections find a way to survive. The "challenged" part of the equation points to the importance of mixing up your exercise routines. Changing even a small part of your activities builds new connections. (Trainers have long known that you need to “surprise” your muscles frequently because they tend to develop to the specific demand and no more.) For example, if tennis is your go-to activity, play doubles and singles, switch between one and two-handed form, try a few net shots with the other hand; play at night and in the day and consider learning similar sports. Still depressed? There may be a way to beat the odds and actually regain skills you lost through disuse. I don’t see a miracle on the horizon but a secret may be not only how much but how you exercise. Stay tuned.

I hope you found this information useful and if so stay tuned for next Monday when I talk about “Eating Using The 80% Rule” where I will dive a little deeper into Intermittent Fasting and how I try to eat for a healthy lifestyle.

That's all I have for today! Make sure to go out and play!

Peace!

 

Seasons Of My Life

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Autumn

my favorite season

The Scoop

Happy New Year gang! I hope you had a fabulous holiday season. Mine was fine but I am so ready for new beginnings. I never look back, only forward and if I look really close I can see hope and joy. But there are some unknowns.

You see, I break my life up into seasons. The early years, birth to twenty 25 were like spring, fresh, new, a time to learn. Then from about 25 to 50, I felt like my life was summer. Warm, a time to nurture others, continue to learn and bask in the potentials of future. At about 50 I feel like I moved into the autumn of my life. My favorite time so far. I have let go of some of the need to nurture others and spend more time taking care of myself. I feel I am stronger mentally and physically than in the spring of my life and more confident than summer. Like the seasons, I want autumn to never end. I am not certain when I will enter my winter season. I know physically a lot of the decline that comes with aging can really show up in the 70s. The winter season for me is where the unknown is lurking. When will I start needing more support? When will I notice physical decline that can’t be reversed? When will I look in the mirror and see a stranger? Or will any of that happen? Questions, there are many to answer or not. I plan to put one foot in front of the other and continue this journey with a grateful heart. I wake up every day thinking anything can happen and it could be wonderful!

Resolutions Not

This is the first year I can remember where I did not make resolutions. I decided to be reckless and wing it! That is a big deal for a Type A person. I did wake up feeling renewed in a way that only the start of a new year can make me feel. I put on my old workout clothes and prepared for a morning run.

We are in Arizona now for a few months and it is cold for this part of the country. Close to freezing at night and highs in the 40s the first few days here. The forecast looks to be sunny and warmer though with each passing day. Anyway, I have three layers on here to keep me warm for my run. And since it has been muddy and raining I am wearing all old things saving my new active wear for nicer weather. And I can’t wait.

I haven’’t run consistently for a while so I wasn’t sure how it would go. But five minutes in I was feeling the old elated feeling that running brings me. Joy was in my heart and I was thinking of potentials and positives rather than the gloom and doom swirling around this old world right now. I went two and half miles and everything was working fine. It was the best way to start the first day of the new year.

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In my mom’s words

Cheryl only has two speeds, running and asleep.

My Look

I’m wearing Adidas leggings, Nike running shoes, a long sleeved white tee, pink pullover and black active wear jacket and my iWatch. Everything is old but I am linking some great options.

Breakfast of Champions

Well my breakfast anyway. Ha ha! Lately I have been enjoying this meal after a run or hike. It is very healthy and so good. I get the big bags of frozen berries which are supposed to be even more nutritious than fresh and add a cup to a half cup of Greek yogurt, fresh walnuts and a couple tablespoons of wheatgerm. Mix it up and enjoy!

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Peace!

Thanks for stopping by!

Staying Connected

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Tricking My Old Body

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Change

does me good.

the scoop

I have always been into eating right and exercising. Nothing over the top but consistent. I have tricks up my sleeves that worked for me when I put on a few pounds. They were never fail until recently. My body is saying I know what you are up to and I am not going to go along with it. So I decided to try something new. My new plan is to trick my body! Ha ha!

How? Well, I now do something different every single day. So my body never knows what the heck is going on. Nothing earth shattering. Just one day I walk, one day I run, one day I weight train just one muscle group or one day I work my whole body through circuit weight training. Some days I clean the garage and some days I rearrange all our furniture.

I like this plan because I don’t get bored and I can always find something to do. My body has seen it all. All I have left is the element of surprise. And I can report that I am very strong. My husband is freaked out by the things I can lift. And my heart is strong. I can run for long distances without hardly breaking a sweat. I have a problem with a thick waist but I am on the case. My motto is move it or lose it!

my look

One of the things I know for sure is that I feel more fit when I wear fitness clothing. This outfit is all older things but I love these floral leggings and this longer black tee with a twist front. I have a little bomber jacket for when I am outside and basic black sneakers. All of this is old but I have been collecting active wear for years and love to dress for all occasions. Even exercising. You know, fake til you make it!

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sup’

  • It’s Friday and I am going to take the day off and relax. Maybe watch an old movie.

  • My friend and I worked for several hours on our YouTube video yesterday and it was so fun. We are learning from the ground up and the one thing we know for sure is that we have a lot to learn.

  • For dinner I am making my favorite Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle Cream. Here is the recipe.

  • I added a Holiday Shopping Guide link up top and will be updating it often. Tis the season!

create your look

I always buy active wear on sale so I’m linking up some options for you.

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Peace!

Thanks for stopping by!

See my Stella directing the show from her director’s chair? She is my heart.

Staying Connected

If you want to easily keep in touch with me, sign up for my updates or follow me on Bloglovin. I try to add interesting things to my updates not found on the blog so I hope you will find them a great supplement to my blog posts.

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Fitness Times Two

the scoop

Suzanne of Crazy Blonde Life and I are joining forces today to share a fitness challenge. As life-long fitness lovers we understand the ups and downs that come with trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Check out Suzanne's post here and read more about what I'm doing below. 

the challenge

We're asking you to join us for a summer fitness challenge starting  June 1st. If you are currently active, inspire us all by sharing what you are doing. If you want to start living a more active life, join us by taking just 15 minutes a day, three times a week to do something you love. Be it walking, hiking, dancing, skipping or playing hopscotch, tell us your plan and then let us know how it goes!

Send us an email with your picture and your plan/progress and we'll share them on our next fitness post! My email is northwestmountainliving@gmail.com and Suzanne's is Suzanne@crazyblondelife.com. Hopefully we can turn this into a series that helps us all help each other to live healthier happier lives! 

My Fitness Challenge?

Boot Camp

my fitness challenge

If you have followed me for long you know I am always trying to up my fitness game. I love to feel healthy and be active and I defy age to try to stop me (I turn 58 next month). The past year though I have felt like I am in a rut. What I am doing is not working. I am not in optimal shape.

I've been running for over 10 years on a regular basis. I have not done strength training on a regular basis. With each passing year I have to reduce my calorie intake more to stay at the weight I desire. The result is that I have more body fat than lean muscle. I have belly fat which is the most unhealthy fat to have due to links with heart disease, type II diabetes and other illnesses.

A little over a year ago I did a boot camp and really enjoyed it. I learned a lot but felt like I knew more than my coach and didn't fully comply with the regimen. I took away several good lifestyle changes but didn't feel like I reached my goals. After realizing that what I am doing is not working I decided to do a round two of the six-week online camp.

the program

I want to be clear here that I am not a health or fitness expert and I am not advocating that anyone should do anything that I am doing. I am always trying new things and want to share my experiences because that is how we learn. Right? I wold love to hear your experiences too! 

This program is very interesting and those who have done it and stuck with it strictly have had amazing results in losing fat and building muscle. I started week five today. Here are the things I am doing. I will add links to some of the key terms for more detail.

1. Carb Cycling

I have two days a week where I eat low carb (less than 50 net grams) and do exercises, specifically sprints on one day and tabatta training on the second day to deplete my glycogen levels so I become a fat burning machine! Ha Ha. 

  • How's that working for you, you ask? The first week was hard. I felt almost sick those two days. I am now used to it but still don't feel 100% on those days.

2. Intermittent Fasting

I eat all my food in an eight-hour window each day. I usually eat only between the hours of 11 AM and 7 PM.

  • I have been doing this for over a year and actually like it. I still get to have my coffee in the morning so it is all good.

3. Weight Training

Three days a week I do weight training. I focus on different body parts on each of those days. I also do ten minutes of low impact cardio to warm up and cool down (like walking) and I stretch.

  • This is the what I am finding most beneficial! I can see definition already and have consisitently increased weight lifted, reps and sets. Woot! Woot!

4. Macros Tracking

I don't count calories but I do monitor my macros (carbohydrates, fats & proteins) and stay within healthy ranges for each. Except on low carb days a healthy range is 50% carbohydrates, 30% fats and 20% proteins. Two days a week I reduce my macros by 25%. It all sounds complicated but it is not. I use the free app My Fitness Pal to track everything. 

  • This is not so difficult. I am so used to it now that I don't really even have to track. Just sticking to clean whole foods 80% of the time is the key.

5. Two days a week are rest days where I take a walk, hike or something like that.

  • Love my rest days but sometimes I do NOTHING! Oopsy!

Results and take aways? I gave up running while doing this program. The whole point of this program is that as women we are under eating and over training and it is not working for us. So I am eating more than I have for a long time and exercising less. For me however not running is not working. Running for me personally is for my mental health. I get depressed when I don't run for a while. So I will add my short 30 minute trail runs every other day when I am done with this boot camp. I will had HIIT to my runs a couple times a week too. I will continue lifting weights three times a week and I will continue the intermittent fasting. I have done it for a year and a half and find no down side for me. I will also keep my macros on point. I will not continue the carb cycling. I just feel better if I eat a normal amount of complex carbs. 

So that's my long winded story! I hope you find something valuable in it.

Thanks For Stopping By!

Peace!

I always get my active wear on discount. After all its just for working out. I just ordered the first four items linked up. So cute!

More of my fitness posts . . .

P.S.

If you are'nt joining our weekly Style Wise Link Up, please do! You can join this week's here and while you're there meet my guest co-host and our featured blogger! 

other link ups

I'm proud to participate in the following link ups and am always looking for more! I love to start my day checking in with them and seeing what everyone is doing and connecting!I hope you will join us HERE!


Use the share buttons below to share, pin & like. It's so easy, just one click and that's it!

And I always look forward to your comments!

My Next Challenge In Fitness Adventures

Whoa! I've hit a plateau!

What's up with that?

It's true! In all my years I have had a pretty good grip on my fitness routines. I limit my yoyoing to about 3 or 4 pounds and when I am up a few I immediately make the changes in my lifestyle to drop them. It's always been to take in fewer calories than I burn. It works and its fast and basically easy. Two weeks and done!

But this spring I haven't had the will power for lack of a better word to do what I know works for me. For the first time in my life, I almost don't care. But it just hit me recently. If I don't care about myself who will? 

So I am taking the reins for this ride and making changes. I have always been active. Always exercising most days added to not sitting much during the day. I think that has been part of my problem this winter. Sitting too much during the day.

So what will I do?

Go back to the tried and true. Consume less fuel and use more energy.

I've already started the process. I plan an activity for each day that uses my energy. Something that makes me move and keeps me engaged. I started with my closet. A full day of physical work moving the winter/fall things up and bringing my spring/summer things front and center. Next day was my office. I rearranged the furniture, cleaned and organized and boom another day of major activity. I have a list a mile long, especially as the weather warms up and I have the great outdoors to conquer. I also do my regular three-mile runs every other day. And I added a new weight training program for the days I don't run.

What about food? I have been showing you the healthy meals I have been making on my IG stories, and weekend blog posts like here and here. I'm pushing hard to eat lots of veggies, nuts, legumes, lean meats and fish. But I still want cake so I am human.

Do I fall off the wagon? You bet! But only for a moment. Every hour of the day is a new chance to do what I need to do for my body. The only body I will ever have. My hope is to keep it fit enough to enjoy this beautiful life I have been given.

So what's my new challenge? I am starting a seven-week boot camp this week that will be a major challenge. I did this boot camp a little over a year ago and it was intense. But I learned so many important lessons and I want a refresher. Things in health and fitness change all the time and I like to be on top of it. So stay tuned! I'll be sharing more on my journey through a collaboration with fellow bloggers as they also embark on their own new challenges in fitness adventures. Hint, Ball Room Dancing Anyone?

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

Linking fun options for you. I think I need that active wear dress and sneakers. Obsessed! I have a few of these dresses and they are so nice for summer!

email updates

If  you aren't signed up for email updates please do so! I have been adding elements to these updates that are fun and I think you will like! You only get an email when a brand new blog post goes live. Click here to sign up.

boutique info

Just an FYI about my boutique. I usually post my outfits in the boutique in advance of  a new post going live and sometimes post extra outfits that I think you will like. So check it out daily if you want spring and summer style inspiration. Its under the shopping tab up top!

other link ups

I'm proud to participate in the following link ups and am always looking for more! I love to start my day checking in with them and seeing what everyone is doing and connecting!I hope you will join us HERE!


Use the share buttons below to share, pin & like. It's so easy, just one click and that's it!

And I always look forward to your comments!

My Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

the scoop

Exercise: I have been slacking a bit on the health front. My main focus this last month has been getting back into running shape. I am in week four of my training and moving right along. This past week I was able to add hikes on the days I don't run so that is a  positive. I feel I will be in 5K condition for my goal date in April. Starting over hasn't been fun but knowing I can come back from injury has made me so grateful. My routine right now is to run every other day and hiking every other day with what I call yoga stretching everyday. It is a group of simple yoga moves I do that stretch and strengthen my muscles. 

Eating: I am not having trouble with intermittent fasting, as a matter of fact I enjoy it. I don't eat after 7 PM and then not again until 11 AM or noon. The problem I am having is what I am eating. I am doing about 50/50 rather than the 80/20 that I prefer. So my goal right now is to work on healthier choices. I seriously have been having cinnamon rolls, burgers, french fries and pizza way too often. Eating well doesn't mean I have to give up anything, I just eat whole, fresh foods. Nothing processed or from restaurants. I eat my cooking which I know if full of healthy oils, grains, fruits and lean meats. Luckily those are the types of foods I love. 

One of my favorite recipes right now is Brussels Sprouts Salad. I do several variations on this salad.  Sometimes I add a piece of roasted chicken on the side but most of the time it is a meal in itself for me. Fruit is my go to for desert and assorted nuts are my favorite snack. Only a small handful of nuts because they pack lots of calories but I find them filling and tasty.  I love eggs and sourdough bread ( I've been reading that it is the best bread to eat if you want bread) toast for breakfast ( usually around noon) and always use real butter with organic jam that does not have sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Many days I have avocado toast which I love. I always use a very high quality olive oil for everything. Anyway these are just some of my ways of eating healthy.

my outfit

I like to put on my active wear first thing in the morning to remind me to stay on track. Layering for cooler weather is key. Being able to add on or remove as needed while working out keeps my comfort level where I spend my time thinking about my workout not that I am too hot or too cold. I have on leggings, a thermal top and a puffer vest. I can take off the vest if I need to or I can even take off the thermal top and wear my vest as a top. This is all stylish and functional.

These pictures were taken while I was still in the Idaho mountains. Here in Arizona is it much warmer and I mostly wear leggings and tanks or even shorts if I exercise late in the day (as seen in last picture below). All my exercise is done outdoors except for my yoga stretching.

create your look

Below are some really fun options for creating your own look.

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

More options for Activewear linked below!

Make sure to check out my Boutique under the shop tab up top.

As always thanks for stopping by!

Peace!


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Never Ever Quit

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shop my look

 

the scoop

Probably one of the biggest lessons in life that I have learned is to never ever quit. Anything that I have ever accomplished was born out of showing up no matter what. I remember working full time, raising two sons and working on a doctoral degree all at the same time and never thinking about anything but getting up in the morning and showing up. No matter how difficult things would get, I would not quit. 

Now that I am older this holds true even more. When I was 47 years-old I started running and now ten years later I continue to run. But not without obstacles and days I think I might have to quit. Especially this past year when I have injured myself while running two different times. More than once I thought this is it, I am going to have to quit, I'm too old. 

But I have a sports medicine doctor that I see and he laughs at me when I ask, "Is this it, am I too old to keep running?" He treats my injury and his staff teaches me exercises and stretches that bring me back to running like the wind! And I am so grateful to them for not only helping me help myself but for reminding me to never ever quit!

The day before I did this shoot I visited my doctor for back strain from running on a mountain trail while I was in Arizona. He told me to rest at least a few days and then get back at it! I must admit as sore as I am from the treatment and exercise they put me though I didn't mind not doing too much for a few days. But I wanted to show you some of the things they recommended I do so I won't injure myself again or further. 

Not only do I do a lot of stretches, mostly part of my yoga routine but I also do several exercises on a roller. Let me tell you, these roller exercises are so helpful even though they hurt for a while until you build up. 

My plan for now is to slowly work my way back to a full run and concentrate on my running form. My goal is the annual 5K that I do in early May. So wish me luck.

I hope you will share with me your favorite ways to stay fit and if you have found obstacles to over come.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

How Stress Effects Fitness

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HOW STRESS EFFECTS FITNESS

Hi All! Welcome to this months' "Move It Or Lose It " fitness post. The new schedule for these fitness related posts is the first Saturday of each month. This week I am going to tell you how excessive stress can effect quality of life. You can exercise all you want and eat perfectly but if you are too stressed it will block your ability to be fit.

For me it is imperative that I keep stress at a low level. My body has never handled high levels of stress. Stress for me localizes in different parts of my body and can make me very ill or cause me to get injured easily. I've had stress cause chronic back pain, tendinitis in my arms, chronic stomach problems among other health issues over my lifetime. Never all at the same time but at certain points in my life where my stress level was too high.  Let me give you a recent example.

For a lot of the summer, my stress was too high. I was trying to do more than I could accomplish. Also like many women of my generation, I have people-pleasing tendencies that are unrealistic. For several years, I have had trouble with gallbladder attacks. Doctors have told me they can't find any real issues but whenever I get stressed I will have one. It feels like a squeezing, crushing sort of chest/torso pain. I will get short of breath and have to lie down. It usually only lasts a few seconds or minutes at most. I've also had my heart checked and it is fine too. It's just my body telling me to settle down. A couple of weeks ago I had the worst attack I have ever had. It lasted for at least 15 minutes and then the after effects lasted for a couple of days. I was in bed sick. No fever, just weak and not feeling right with my gallbladder aching. I was also in pain from injuries due to exercise and was not being able to work out.

While lying in bed I made a decision. I was going to change how I do things and make my life less stressful. I immediately figured out what I was doing that was unnecessary and gave it up. I structured my day so that I was living more for the things that bring me joy. I stopped doing things that were unnecessary and started doing things that I found pleasant and relaxing.

Here is how my days go now.  I wake up in the morning and my husband brings me my coffee in bed. (He has always done that so not new). As I have my coffee with my husband and dogs snuggled around me I do most of my blog work. I make sure my post is live, and I respond to comments. Then I do my link ups and blog hops and do all my blog promotion. I do about 15 minutes on IG and then I am done. Everything takes about an hour. After that I am pretty much done with it for the day. No more spending the day thinking and worrying about it and taking on things that are unpleasant and tension building.

Next I get up and go for my trail run. After my run I have a protein drink and shower. When I get dressed if I think my outfit is blog worthy I take photos. That only takes about 15 minutes at most. Three times a week I sit down in the afternoon and put together my posts. That usually takes about an hour. I have gotten very streamlined about it all. This is also the part of blogging that brings me joy. 

I am a researcher for my husband's consulting firm so anything I need to do for that gets done mid mornings. My afternoons are spent cooking and doing projects around my home. I love to cook and I love to turn recipes into healthy meals. We have been eating so well since I started my new routine. 

The biggest changes I've made have been to not let social media run my day. I hit it about 15 minutes in the morning and 15 more in late afternoon. And that is it. It hasn't been difficult to let it go. My evenings are spent eating good meals and time with my husband. Chatting with my kids and grand kids and doing things that make me smile. Life is just too short!

The result has been I feel better than I have in months. I was so over extended that I was unable to even exercise without injuring myself and now I am back to my trail runs and picking up speed with each one. No pain. I am grateful that I was able to make the changes necessary to feel good again. 

Point of this story? If you have excessive stress in your life, remove it if at all possible. It shortens the life you have and diminishes the quality of your life.

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That's it for this post! Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

Breaking Up - With Exercise

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Breaking Up With Exercise

I've exercised fairly consistently my whole life. But every now and then I need a break. Lately I have been really working out hard and regularly. Even when I had house guests for two weeks, I never missed a run, hike, or weight lifting session. But this week, all the events of spring and summer caught up with me and I realized I was tired. Bone tired. I knew it was time to do what I have always done when I hit a wall. I broke up with exercise. So how do I break up with exercise? I understand that the breakup is not a long-term thing; I relax and give myself a break understanding that mental health is as important as physical health and I take a day or few off. Experience allows me to understand that a break from exercise can actually improve my overall fitness by allowing me to rest, rejuvenate and prepare to get back at it, stronger in every way. 

Here is how I knew it was time to break up. On Monday morning I went for my trail run, it took all my energy to get ready, but I have a few tricks I use to help when that happens, so out the door I went. I did the run, but it felt slow, heavy, and I found no joy in it. I had to walk the last quarter of mile. Tuesday, I went for my hike, and came home and lifted weights. Again, it just didn't feel good. I had no energy the rest of the day and I could tell it wasn't just a passing thing. Wednesday, I was sore from Tuesday's weight lifting. With all this, I decided it was time to take a break so I took the rest of the week off. Almost as soon as I made the decision I started feeling better and even started looking forward to Sunday or Monday when I knew I would again be raring to go.

THE TRUTH

Sarah Gibson, Certified Personal Trainer finds that many fitness junkies equate the idea of taking a day off with Satan. My husband was that way when he was a serious distance runner who sometimes trained in excess of 50 miles per week. She points out how this is not true and my husband no longer over trains either.

Rest periods are a part of many professional training plans. They allow the body and the mind to recuperate to our benefit. As Sarah says, “As we work out, we place greater strain on our muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints. Our immune system is activated when there are muscle tears or joint strains, but if the body doesn’t come out of continual practice, this system doesn’t have the time to catch up and start patching everything back up. Thus, if you’re building muscle, you should take a day off from lifting the same region so the body has time to repair the muscles you’re working.”

I have observed the truth of this in my own exercise regimen. Running and other impact activities stress joints and connective tissue. Those who exercise regularly generally have lower measures of inflammation but they also have higher measures immediately after vigorous exercise. Systemic inflammation (e.g., as measured by C-reactive protein) needs to return to baseline; otherwise you may experience joint damage from inflammation. Cycles of deep rest can aid in this process.

Rest days depend on the type of athlete you are, according to Gibson. Mind and body athletes (think Pilates and yoga) may want to take a day off altogether, whereas bodybuilders may only want to take a day off from lifting, but still do a little cardio. Your need for rest days may also depend on your fitness. We need to learn more about this.

I have also observed that it is important to eat differently on days of rest. In general, eat less and perhaps consume fewer carbohydrates. It is OK to stick to your nutrition plan, but make it a light day. This will be different for everyone and your body will probably hit a point where you feel ravenous because your metabolism has shot through the roof as you work out more regularly. Just remember to eat right, eat on time and drink lots of water.

Give your body love and attention and know that every successful athlete does this, too. Take your day of rest to reflect on how far you have come and plan how far you will go!

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That's it for this week! Let me know if there is anything you want to know about how I incorporate health, fitness, and beauty in to my life. And thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

TIP
I have little tricks I use to get myself going on days I don't feel quite up to it. On days that I am feeling slow, I put on my exercise clothes thinking just because I put them on doesn't mean I have to do anything. Then I tell myself to just head out the door and if I still don't want to do it I can come back inside. Almost every time I go that far, I end finishing and feeling really great. Another trick I use is to do a different exercise. If a run sounds too strenuous, I take a relaxing walk. I always feel much better when I do something. If none of those things work, I take a break and I don't beat myself up. I focus on my next workout.