Monday, March 16, 2009

Are you resting enough?

Did you know an essential part of working out and seeing results is actually getting enough rest and letting your body recover from the workout. Many people who work out seem to forget that the body needs to rest. Just like how you need a rest after a hard day at the office, your body is no different. In fact I know a lot of enthusiasts who work out 7 times a week all because they want to see quick and fast results. So they feel if working out 4 times a week is good, then 7 times a week has to be much better right? Wrong. It doesn’t quite work that way. Here are 3 reasons why you should make it a point to get enough rest in between your workouts.

Reduce the risk of injury
If your body has not recovered fully from the previous workout and you push it again, you are at higher risk of experiencing injury which could put you out of commission for weeks or even months. So why do it? If you are one of those people who wants to get fast results, imagine what 4 weeks of not working out will do to your goals of losing weight or getting the fitness results you want. It will backtrack your goals.

People who work out all the time and don’t have any rest will be at higher risk for experiencing burnout. Burnout is a condition when you get sick and tired of working out and just want to quit. Although it is a psychological condition, believe me, the results and what it does to you is very real. I know many people who start out strong and then experience burnout… and getting them back into their routine is harder than getting someone who has never worked out to start working out. So make sure you get enough rest or you will be resting for a long long time after that. All work and no play will make you sick of anything quickly.

You will stop seeing results
I know people who workout hard 7 days a week and each work out going on for almost 2 hours. That is a quite a bit if you ask me. To top it up, they are on an extremely tight diet because they want to see rapid weight loss. After 2 or 3 months, they realize that they are not losing anymore weight. So what do they do? Make it 3 hours a day and eat even less… and still they don’t see results. Why? Because you have over worked your body to its max and pushed it too far and your body just gives up and doesn’t want to push itself anymore. I have personally guided friends and clients out of this rut by actually telling them to eat more and take a break. And just 2 weeks of eating healthier (in most cases more food) and working out less, they actually start to lose weight again. So trust me… more isn’t always better.

With all that being said, please also know that it doesn’t mean the more you rest the better it will be. So working out once a week and taking the other 6 days off doesn’t cut it as well. Just like everything else in life, it is a matter of striking the right balance between working out and getting enough rest. Below is my recommendation of how much you should workout and how much you should rest:

- Exercise 4 to 5 times a week
- Each session should be between 1 hour to 1.5 hours
- Every 4 or 5 months, take a whole 1 week off from working out… meaning absolutely no working out for 1 whole week.

Follow these 3 simple rules and you won’t have to worry about burnout, injury or not seeing any results. So take a look at your routine and make sure you get enough rest and a break in between your workouts.

As crazy as I am about working out, when it comes to the weekend, I am an absolute bum and trust me… I do very little physical activity over the weekend. So Monday to Friday is my workout days and Saturday and Sunday is when I rest relax and rejuvanate. So what is your routine like and are you getting enough rest. Look forward to hearing from you.


anfield devotee said...

My routine is similar to yers . . . Yer Sat & Sun is me Mon-Sun . . .

Rajan said...

AD: Hehehehe.... nice try, but unfortunately, that does not count-lah.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

thanks for the tips boss. only that i'm guilty of not exercising as much as i should. monday-wednesday cracks my head, thurs-friday resting day and come saturday, its walloping time.

Rajan said...

Kerp: No worries man. this is meant to educate those who always feel "more means better". It doesn't always work that way.