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 muscle soreness).
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: joint pain 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 arenot 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