After my mentioning a bit of a battle with fatigue yesterday a very dear friend enquired as to wheather or not I was taking into account the need for rest days in my workout routine. I am grateful that she asked. One of the reasons that I as so specific in my “action steps” is so I don’t become too “gung ho” and start feeling that I am failing if I’m not going full force 7 days a week. This is just as big a blunder as not getting in enough exercise. With my tendency toward obsession I have been guilty of this in the past. So, I want to take a minuite and talk to you about the importance of balance in your wellness approach.

     I am not a body builder or a marathon runner but a lot can be learned from listening to the workout phiosophies of serious athletes. I frequently read about the dangers of overtraining. If your workouts are too frequent with too little rest in between you actually hamper your progress. The muscles in the body need time to recover and repair. Likewise, waiting too long between exercise sessions can cause the size of fat cells to increase, let muscles weaken, and cause you to feel less motivated to get back into routine. How Long Should You Really Rest Between Workouts by Jan Muller suggests taking one to two days off each week with no activity and spacing those out throughout the week. I personally have set my goal at 4 days a week of exercise with 3 days of rest. Activity is important but so is downtime.

     Your food intake works much the same way. Eat too many calories and you gain pounds. Eat too few and the body thinks it’s starving and tries to hold onto it’s weight. It’s important to eat enough calories to keep your brain and body working at full capacity, but few enough to lose the extra pounds you are working so hard to eliminate. Never go under 1000 calories. If you haven’t found the calorie range that’s right for you try signing up for SparkPeople as previously suggested. Once you’ve entered your height, current weight, and weight goal it will help you chose a calorie range that should work well for you.

     The ultimate goal shouldn’t be to lose weight quickly at all costs but to become a happier, healthier, more balanced self. Add a little play along with your work. Enjoy a bite of chocolate at the end of a healthy meal. Treat yourself to relaxing soak in a bubble bath after a hard workout. My wish for you my friends is balance and blessings each and every day!

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