Our bodies give us all kinds of signals. Many times we ignore them. We
usually do this because we have been taught that consistency leads to
progress. Yet, at times our body’s needs interfere with our plans, and
we need to adjust the plan.
This week I ignored the signs my body was giving me. That decision
turned out to be a bad choice. I planned to do 4 heavy lifting
workouts, on 4 consecutive days. After the first day, my back was stiff
and showed signs of strain. It was not the normal DOMS (delayed onset
The second day I pushed through the workout even though I didn’t feel
100% right. The third day, my mind said to get the workout done but I
couldn’t even do the warm-up sets. I ended up needing two rest days.
My back was so stiff that I had trouble reaching my feet. Putting on
socks a was a struggle.
Consistency IS important for progress, and yet it is equally important to pay
attention to our physical signs. I recently noticed (at age 56) that I
now need more recovery time between heavy lifting sessions.
Here are some situations when a recovery day is indicated:
fever, aches, and chills flu-like symptoms
emotional* states (such as profound grief)
intense fatigue or sleep deprivation
What can we do on recovery days to maintain a calorie burn? First of
all know that we are burning calories while we recover because our
the body requires a high amount energy to repair itself.
If you need recovery but are not completely exhausted, you can ramp
up your Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis. #NEAT
#NEAT are calories burned from movements that are not exercise or
sleep (yes we burn calories in our sleep). Increasing our #NEAT
throughout the day has numerous benefits such as improved blood flow
and calorie burn.
#NEAT improves circulation which improves blood flow to recovering
muscles. Improved blood flow to sore muscles speeds up the recovery
process and shortens the duration of DOMS. Additionally, #NEAT is
well documented in scientific studies as a vitally important facet in
improving quality of life. People living in blue zones** all over the
world have #NEAT built into their lifestyles. These people do not
exercise as a formal activity, they simply move all day long.
By now hopefully, you are inspired to improve your daily #NEAT! I
created a cheat sheet to help us all use #NEAT to our advantage.
#NEAT November Cheat Sheet is a complimentary gift to everyone who is
part of the Grateful Fitness movement. I am sharing it with as many
people as I can reach, and it will be sent out on Monday 11/13.
Add your information here: #NEAT November Cheat Sheet so I know where
to send it. If you’d like, share this with people you care about!
*NOTE: this is highly individual. If a good sweat session feels right
at that time, then do it. If not, skip it – no guilt)
**Areas with high concentrations of centenarians
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