Rest as important as working out for health
Many assume that being a gym rat, eating well and maintaining 10 per cent body fat equates to complete wellness.
In actual fact, rest, recovery, indulging every so often, acknowledging your human side, visiting your doctor, meditating (or praying) and having healthy relationships all hold a role in complete wellness.
I mention rest because we get so caught up in life — the “go hard or go home”, “sleep is for suckers” mentality — that we do not realise how detrimental this is for our bodies. When we constantly demand change from our bodies, stressing our muscles and fatiguing our joints without rest will, in fact, work against progress.
For the past ten months I have worked tirelessly, only taking a break to attend a wedding or enjoy a Bermuda holiday. Not once did I actually take a vacation from the 5am to 8pm days I commit to.
As I’m newly married, I also had to find time for my husband, for my home and my family; I realised that I was very tired. Did I rest though? No. I kept burning, kept pushing, kept training hard and neglected to rest properly. I noticed the fatigue hindered how hard I’d push myself in training because I wanted to save energy for my clients.
Before this ten-month period, I promised to take, and successfully took, a break every ten weeks allowing myself to indulge, relax, sleep in and simply recharge. Why didn’t it happen this year? I can’t put my finger on it, but it didn’t.
I noticed the lack of down time and decided to take a two-week do-nothing, eat-everything vacation. When I tell you it was heaven, believe me!
I literally floated in a pool, falling in and out of sleep. I ate ice cream for breakfast and allowed for complete relaxation. While I normally work out on vacation, I didn’t take one pair of sneakers, I left behind my sports bras, to fully commit to relaxation.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, right? So while hard work is always good and success comes from working tirelessly towards your goals, it isn’t in your best interest to overwork and burn out.
My belief is that in working towards goals we must remain honest with ourselves, never forgetting that we are human and that rest is not a sign of weakness.
It’s been two weeks since my amazing vacation and, although I’m a few pounds heavier (because … ice cream duh!), I do not regret being human, taking rest and resetting my system, entirely!
Mentally, I have clarity; I am able to properly think about future goals. Physically, I feel strong and energised, ready to attack and transform my fitness, my body.
Rest is amazing, not a crutch or a sign of weakness. I challenge you to assess your lifestyle. Can you be kinder to yourself allowing for rest and recovery? Or are you “beasting” in every aspect of your life, forgetting that you are human and require kinder treatment?
Your goals can be met, your dreams can come true. I promise you, rest will indeed help you.
• Dre Hinds is a retired track and field athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years’ experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness and Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her on: email@example.com or 599-0412. Find her on both Facebook and Instagram under @Absbydre
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