image courtesy of... icanhascheezburger.com
Since I started my weight loss regime and exercising a little over three years ago, my routine has changed drastically. When I first started, I concentrated on strength training and avoided cardio like the plague. Then, when I started feeling guilty about avoiding the cardio, I did that instead of the strength training. As you might be able to see, I did either one or the other during the week...not both.
Well, no more! Over the past few months I have been incorporating both strength training and cardio in my weekly work outs. I discovered a few good videos through Netflix; one is a Boot camp exercise video, which is 30 minutes of non-stop action and the other is a Pilate's/Yoga mix (40 minutes). I have to admit that when I first saw the Pilate's video, I didn't figure that it would give me much of a workout However, after doing it the first time AND only being able to make it through 20 minutes of it, I have a new respect for it. I have to say that when I finally finish the 40 minutes, I look like I have just gotten out of the shower! I combine these videos with my strength training, alternating each day, and I find that I much more satisfied with my workouts.
Now, back to the resting thing.
I am at the point where I am so used to exercising each day, that whenever I take a day off, I feel guilty about doing so. Today, as I write this, I am again struggling with taking time off. My body is sore from my week's activity and I KNOW that I have to give my muscles a chance to recover, but I still feel bad for not working out. It may sound strange or even bizarre for me to feel this way, but I do. My mind is telling me that I have to rest, but my gut (as ample as it is) is telling me to ignore the aches and pains and just go for it.
Well, I am forcing myself to take time off and recover. It may not seem like it, but the recovery period is just as important as the actual exercising itself. Your muscles get stretched and torn while working out, that's how they grow, and they must have time to recover and heal. Otherwise, you could do serious harm to yourself. So, instead of sitting here and feeling guilty over the fact that I'm skipping a few days, I'm going to enjoy myself. I'm going to focus on the fact that my muscles are getting a much-needed rest and that I will be ready to begin again next week.