This may sound strange coming from a group ex instructor… but lay off the gym a little bit ladies (and gents). By doing so, you’ll burn more calories, get stronger and have more energy to do this (mom conversations at the pool- a hilarious must-read for all moms).
I realize I’m not heeding my own advice when I write this post with teaching 6 classes a week and trying to squeeze in as many barre classes as I can before this baby comes, but maybe by typing it out I’ll actually listen.
1. Your muscles tear when you work them out and grow when you rest. Depending on the intensity of your workout, muscles need up to 48 hours to completely recover. This means, if you lift heavy Monday, don’t expect to do it again until Wednesday. Same for cardio sessions. By repeatedly pounding on the same muscles, you’re doing your body more harm than good.
I just had to add this old picture in from my old blog. Justin working out to much and baby Gentry showing us how to properly take a rest day/ wondering why Daddy is making such a Weird Al face.
2. Working out to much can wreck havoc on your metabolism and actually cause a weight-loss and performance plateau. Especially doing the SAME workouts each week causes your smart ol’ body to adapt to those moves and burn less calories while doing them. Alternate cardio, strength, short, but intense intervals, longer but more moderate workouts, etc.
3. Working out can lead to a bigger appetite, especially doing all cardio classes/workouts. When I was training for my half marathon season last summer, I ATE CONSTANTLY. Literally every hour I needed some form of carbs. Unfortunately, as soon as I stopped training I got knocked up, so while I didn’t see much of an appetite decrease, you will. Another reason to alternate cardio + strength + rest days.
So what are some active recovery things to do on your days off?
Come clean my house
Come wash my car
Come organize my cabinets
Come cook me meals
You get the point.
And what else can I do to speed up recovery? Go grab some ProCompression socks. Not just for runners, but for people on their feet all day, preggo ladies with swelling and those feeling the lower leg soreness post any type of workout.
Why compression socks? This article really breaks it down…
Keeping oxygenated blood flowing to muscles is important for performance. The more oxygen the cells have, the better they will function. During exercise, the body produces lactic acid as a waste product. If this lactic acid is not removed from the muscles, it can contribute to soreness and decreased ability to perform. Another factor in decreased performance is muscle fatigue. Muscular vibration during physical activity contributes to fatigue. Think about how much shock and vibration is going through your leg muscles as you pound pavement with 3-5 times your body weight while running. Over time, those little vibrations of the muscles add up and they become fatigued.
Now that we know what the blood and muscles are doing while we are running, let’s talk about what compression socks and sleeves do to help the body. Compression socks and sleeves provide graduated compression, meaning the compression is higher (tighter) at the foot and ankle and lower (looser) as it moves up the calf and lower leg. This type of compression helps to fight the effects of gravity and assist the body in venous return (deoxygenated blood flowing back up to the heart).
Recent studies show that with an optimal level of consistent compression, the walls of the arteries will dilate, increasing the blood flow through them. Arterial blood flow has been shown to increase up to 40% during activity and 30% during recovery. This means more oxygen and nutrients flowing through the body! On the other hand, the walls of the veins will constrict under compression, which helps to increase the velocity of blood flow through them. Increased velocity of blood flow through veins means that deoxygenated blood and lactic acid will get back to the heart quicker, which will help to increase the rate of recovery and decrease muscle soreness! Compression will also help to stabilize the muscle and decrease the amount of muscular vibration, resulting in decreased fatigue. To sum up the benefits of compression; enhanced performance through increased blood flow, quicker recovery and decreased muscle soreness, and less fatigue. All good things!
I honestly live in mine.
Ok I don’t know what I was thinking this day, but I had to show off my neighbor’s hot pink kind….
My classic blacks…
And the hubby’s white.
But don’t limit yourself there… look like a real cool kid and snag these (my personal fave I just haven’t gotten around to ordering quite yet- push present perhaps?!)
If you go snag a pair now you can use the code PINK for 40% off any sock! (This post was sponsored by ProCompression, but I honestly believe in their products or else I’d never throw it in your face. Plus, who doesn’t want to look like a professional runner/worker outer in these?!). Post your pictures all over the social media world with the # (don’t we just love #) #keepingittight and #procompression.
So, while I do advocate a minimum of 200 minutes/week being active, take AT LEAST one rest day a week. And over the span of a year, take AT LEAST 2 weeks off. Your body will perform better, your weight loss will actually increase and your sanity levels will actually be much higher.
What is your favorite post workout things to do? Mine is to inhale a massive bowl of oatmeal, greek yogurt and fruit… and then an entire brownie cookie sandwich from Shyndigz of course.
Which ProCompression socks do you want/have?