Finding the time to adequately rest and rejuvenate our bodies can be a challenge – whether we are at the peak of our fitness goals, or at a time when we haven’t quite figured out how to work fitness into our daily routine.
Occasionally, active individuals will reach a plateau and feel like they are going backwards, despite spending endless time in the gym or on the trails. As we get caught up in our goals, we can forget to take the rest we need. This can actually have a detrimental effect on our body because despite what you might think – more is not always better when it comes to physical activity, especially as we increase intensity.
Each time we workout, we are putting our muscles and connective tissues under stress. While this is a necessary step to improving our strength, mobility and endurance, if we don’t allow adequate rest time, we aren’t allowing ourselves to recover from this stress. This can result in diminished performance, fatigue, and increase your chance of injury.
Resting and recovering doesn’t mean you have to sit at home on your couch – it involves a number of key components including getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, properly nourishing your body, and incorporating active recovery into your weekly routine.
Active recovery can include things like yard or house work, walking or hiking, or yoga. Yoga is a fantastic way to keep your body moving, stretch out those tired muscles, and to tune in to the often forgotten mental component of healthy living.
Yoga and other methods of active recovery can also be a great starting point for those of us that are struggling to meet the recommended amounts of physical activity each week. Chances are if you lead a busy lifestyle, taking the time to tune into your body and breath can provide clarity and increase productivity.
Next time you’re feeling tired or uninterested in a workout; feel like you need a break; or if you feel like you’re ready for a gentle start to physical activity – consider stepping onto your yoga mat!