I can officially say that I accomplished seven full days of (active) rest.  In case any of you are unfamiliar with the concept of active rest, it basically means taking a break from the usual intensity of exercise you are used to and instead opting for more recreational and easier movement.  To me, active rest includes going for walks, stretching, or maybe even a light bike ride or easy hike.  If you missed my original post on why I decided to take a week off from my typical exercise regimen, you can read about it here.

Weekly Workouts

Last week’s rest week was not as difficult as I thought it would be.  First of all, with everything that was going on in Boston last week, I really wasn’t feeling the desire to workout anyways.  Normally exercise is my release from stress, but last week was completely different.

Second of all, my body just really needed the break.  I knew I was making the right decision for myself, so it didn’t seem as bad as forced weeks off from injuries have felt in the past.  My friend Jen shared this link in her blog on Friday, and I found myself nodding to several signs of over-exercising that were listed in the article.  Delayed recovery time, decreased performance, disinterest in exercise, and increased cravings were the ones that resonated with me the most.  Increased cravings were definitely happening to me.  I was a sugar FREAK two weeks ago, and my snacking was out of control.

Finally, the “active” part of the rest did help with the mental aspects of it.  Our bodies are just made to move, not be sedentary!  I sit enough at work, so I needed to walk and stretch.  I definitely did more at the beginning of the week than I did toward the end though.

Last Week’s Active Rest

  • Sunday:  3 mile walk around the Charles River in Watertown/Brighton
  • Monday:  2 mile walk from where we got off the bus in Allston to where we were hanging out for Marathon Monday
  • Tuesday:  20 minute walk at work
  • Wednesday:  On my feet while personal training / stretching session at home
  • Thursday:  Off
  • Friday:  Off
  • Saturday:  Shopping!

At least walking provides much prettier views and interesting things to stumble upon than indoor gym time does.  That was a highlight!

Belmont Waterfall

Belmont Waterfall 2

Me @ Dock

Fallen Tree

Charles River

Some other observations I want to share:

  • My appetite?  WAY DOWN.  I found that I definitely wasn’t hungry as much as I am during a normal exercise week.  I barely snacked at all.
  • My energy levels were also down.  I found that although I probably got a little more sleep than usual, my energy levels throughout the day were way off.  I don’t know how people who don’t exercise do it.  They must feel so lethargic and blah all the time.  How!?
  • Walking made my legs sore.  No lie!
  • By the end of the week, I started to feel “flabby.”  I am not saying that I got fat or gained weight.  I have no idea about my weight because I don’t weigh myself and most certainly didn’t start this week.  But I definitely wasn’t feeling as good about myself by the end of the week as usual.
  • Not having to pack as many bags each day?  Awesome.
  • Not having to take as many showers?  I guess it saved water, but I love my shower time.  I guess since I didn’t have to wash my hair as much, I got to wear it down more than usual.
  • I missed my gym friends a lot.
  • Tim equated my rest week with an automatic free pass week of his own.  Not my intent.
  • My excitement and motivation came back!  And I can’t wait to make a new playlist for classes this week.

break from routine

This Week’s Workouts

  • Sunday:  Did a 40 minute elliptical workout yesterday, plus 3 rounds of this lower body burner from Tina, plus 2 rounds of this week’s Best Body Bootcamp core workout.
  • Monday:  Planning on doing this jump rope & ab circuit workout at home
  • Tuesday:  No Two A Day this week because I have a client, sorry Liz!  I will be there to teach my class only.  Requests?
  • Wednesday:  Rest
  • Thursday:  Teaching my class.  Requests?
  • Friday:  Rest or cardio/core day
  • Saturday:  Either the Ultimate Spring Workout I signed up for via Ultimate Bootcamp, or a hike/walk in NH.  We haven’t decided when to reschedule our weekend getaway for yet!

I am still going to take it a little slower than usual and ease my way back into things.  My lower body (hip and feet) are definitely feeling better, but my shoulder had a LOT of tension and tightness still, even during rest.  It finally started to feel better on Friday/Saturday, but I don’t want to push things too soon.  I will either still be doing limited upper body work or using a lighter load than usual.  It really just depends on how I feel. I am putting off my Best Body Bootcamp workouts (at least the strength ones) until I can fully enjoy them and lift how I’d like to be lifting during them.  I’m also considering getting one more massage to focus on only my upper body and work the final kinks out.  We’ll see!

Let’s chat!  I want to hear about the workouts you did.  Anything stand out to you last week?  What’s on the agenda this week?  How do you think your body would change or react to a week of rest?