I want to stat today off with one of my favorite songs. It begs another listen today.
“What does this have to do with fitness?” you are asking. Good question!
When I was training for my first marathon, we got a calendar schedule of exercises for the week. From week 1 to the week before the marathon, each day had a specific activity and amount of time to do it. This is what it looked like:
Monday: 30 minutes of easy running — meaning no hills
Tuesday: another run of 30 minutes
Wednesday: cross training or core work (Yoga!)
Thursday: another 30 minute easy run
Friday: rest day — absolutely NO exercise activities!
Saturday: long run that increased almost weekly
Sunday: another mandatory day of rest — absolutely NO exercise activities!
When our coaches heard of us doing things on those days, there was a lecture about following the training schedule. What we had was what they used every season, because it worked. It would make us successful in our marathon.
Basically, what the coaches were teaching boiled down to this: physically training for something requires down time so the muscles have a chance to repair and get stronger. Not having that rest time didn’t give them the chance to heal and get stronger. In the long run, we were doing more damage to our bodies.
Wow! What an eye opener! Permission to rest in the middle of training for the most physically demanding things I had ever done. Remember my friends who had challenged me to do this in the first place (well, he was the catalyst for it)? He demanded that I take this rest seriously. At the time, I was working two jobs, going to school, training for a marathon, and raising two active girls. Sundays they were with their dad, so I slept in. When my eyes popped open at my regular wake-up time, I would give myself permission to shut them again. I rolled over, closed my eyes, and woke up an hour or so later.
I find that when I am fully rested, I perform better. My whole being is stronger — emotionally and physically. I’m present for my kids.
Exercising helps clear my head space. Resting gives me focus and clarity.
Make some time each day to rest. There are lots of mindfulness activities that are out there. Meditations ( I use The Honest Guys at school and at home). Coloring activities. Build a campfire and read a book. Play a game. Watch ants.
Remember you are a human being, NOT a human doing.
Leave me some of your favorite mindful activities in the comments. I’m always looking for something new to try!