What do you do on your rest day? Do you enjoy a lie in or relax on the sofa after work? Or are you chomping at the bit, eager to get back into the gym, lamenting the hours wasted when you could be perfecting your technique? Do you pig out or have a cheat meal on your rest day or do you save cheat meals for the weekends or special occasions?
However you spend your time, here are a few ideas and tips you might like to take on board on your next rest day.
Giving your body the chance to recover is equally important as your workout/lifting routine and diet. During recovery, your body will be experiencing the SAID Principle - Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands - and, therefore, compensate for the stresses of training by increasing its work capacity and growing strong and more powerful. This really is necessary as without this you will hamper your body's potential to improve.
When we are focused and in 'the zone', it is easy to put off chores and commitments outside of the gym. However, procrastinating about the little things will lead to a back log and eventually have a negative effect on our dedication and mindset. Do your paperwork and bills need organising? Get them organised on your rest day. Are you neglecting friends and family? Arrange to see them on your rest days. Are your DIY and household chores piling up? Seriously, get them done on your rest day. You might not be in the mood to tackle all of these things in one day, but pace yourself, write up a schedule and commit to it, just as you commit to your gym life routine. You'll be amazed at how much more focused you'll become once you've done so.
Have you heard the saying, "The gym is 30% training and 70% diet"? Rest day is a great time for food preparation for the week ahead; this includes shopping lists, menu plans and prepping meals ready to go.
There is nothing worse than being caught on the hop with nothing healthy and nutritious to hand whether at work or home. Taking time to create menu plans (these do not have to be fancy; something as simple as a chicken and avocado salad with a hummus dip is easily prepped and packed), writing out shopping lists, and preparing a few healthy food boxes can be the difference between staying on plan or ruining all of your hard work.
Whether it's a deep tissue massage, a spa session, a hair cut, spray tan, or even something as simple as going swimming or a long soak in the bath, take time out to pamper yourself on rest days. You deserve it.
Knowing that we have a treat in store for ourselves on rest days, can add extra drive and impetus to or commitment throughout the week. All work and no play is never fun, and a sure fire way to giving up on our goals. Make time for you.