Last weekend I decided to buy myself a FitBit. And yes I know, some of you are wondering why I would need one when I know I am physically active lots, right? I love the fact that it tells me my heart rate, sleeping patterns, and so many other things! I am always interested in learning about my personal data so why not use it! I admittedly have been working on my deep breathing all week to see just how low my resting heart rate can go :P
The average every day user would typically use a FitBit for motivation. You can set goals and targets for categories including number of hours slept and number of steps taken in a day. Although it may not be an exact depiction of what someone might need to reach their best it certainly helps. I think it can be eye opening for those who move very little. I know 10,000 steps is not the be all end all when it comes to how much movement one does per day, but the way I look at it, being physically active to achieve that, moving in your daily activities, is important too. Lifestyle is a huge component of quality of life. It would be nice to see people training in a gym, but if they can alter their lifestyle to get those steps in by moving around the office every hour or going for a walk after dinner, then all the power to them!
What this past week has reminded me is that just because I hit 30,000+ steps way too consistently, does not make me the winner. In fact the prize is usually muscle soreness followed with physical and mental fatigue for the following days. My FitBit experience thus far has actually reminded me to take a step back, rest and recover more, and listen to my body. As someone who teaches an average of 19 classes a week it can be quite the challenge to listen to my body and slow down because it is always go, go go. And as someone who teaches that many classes a week, my clients hear ALL the time to rest and recovery so they can work harder their next workout…and it is time I start listening to my own advice.
Whether you teach fitness classes or train on your own throughout the week, rest and recovery are extremely important pieces to the puzzle of reaching your goals. When we constantly break our bodies down and give little mental and physical rest, there is no possible way we can expect it to perform optimally the next time we step foot in the gym. My own workouts are few and far between as I continue to deal with my injury, but when they do happen, I ensure I have a focus and I am efficiently in and out within less than an hour. I usually have more classes to go that day and my body needs the rest in between. I work hard when I do plan it in my schedule, but I know that hours don’t have to be spent to see the gains I want to.
We all have bumps and road blocks when it comes to training and practicing a healthy active lifestyle each and every day. It might be your eating habits, sleeping patterns, or workouts themselves. For training specifically, it might mean analyzing your program or your week beforehand. Spending hours in the gym with little rest and recovery might seem like the way to get to your goals faster but our bodies need time to recharge.
As I head into this week I need to listen to my body more. For me, it is finding ways in my classes to not push my own body too far as I am coaching others and not there for my own physical training. It also takes me actively stretching and foam rolling in between - something I wish I could say I was better at implementing. The more we move, the more time our body needs to recoup to keep on moving!
Be fierce. Be strong. Be vibrant.
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