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On Sundays, we like to get stretchy! There’s no better time to hit all those sore spots than after a long hard week. Stretching not only feels good, but it can alleviate soreness, pain, prevent injury AND improve your performance. If you like to train hard, then you need to stretch hard. It’s as simple as that. :)
This routine will target all those ‘extra’ tense bits and leave you feeling loose & limber. Before beginning, make sure you’re warm: a walk, a quick dance party or a hot shower will do.
This routine is split in 3 parts & runs 23 minutes in total.
See parts 2 & 3 after the jump!
Do you have trouble taking a rest day? Me too.
I’ve always had a hard time with rest days: it’s not easy for me to ‘relax’ and I get antsy. Crawling up the walls, jumping from ‘A’ to ‘B’, sometimes emotional ‘antsy’. While most people have trouble working up the motivation TO workout, I struggle with having the discipline to hold myself back. It wasn’t until I ended up with a double stress fracture in my hip last year that I seriously started focusing on ‘recovery’ days as part of the “routine”.
I’m a self-proclaimed fitness addict and the ‘high’ I get from my workouts is something I crave almost daily. Holding myself back & taking time to recover is something I have to actively work on & involves listening to my body closely. There are days when it needs me to go easy, even if I don’t feel like it. That’s okay since we need to be making decisions based on ITS needs and not our ego’s. It’s hard sometimes, but I do it. I love this bod of mine and I express it by treating it with care.
The amazing thing is that once I started focusing on getting enough rest, my body started to repay the favor. I had more energy. I was less sore. I dropped a little body fat that just wasn’t budging before. My performance went UP. Even today, I continually see better results by making sure at least 1-2 days a week don’t include a ‘workout’.
I don’t schedule my rest days (it gives me the flexibility to decide if my body needs one on the fly). Some weeks I take more than others & I usually rest on Sundays. Some people prefer to have set rest days, but you should listen to your body FIRST and stay flexible: it’s not advisable to push through a workout ‘day’ when your body is telling you otherwise.
When to take a rest day…
- If you haven’t had one in awhile (you should have at least one a week and more if you’re training harder than usual).
- If you’re unusually sore or suspect a possible injury (twinges count).
- When you’re sacrificing sleep or other priorities in order to workout (sometimes, we just have surprisingly busy days. And sometimes we may be falling into dangerous fitness ‘addiction’ territory. Make sure your sleep, life, and obligations still come first. How to spot signs of fitness addiction.).
- If you are experiencing symptoms of overtraining.
If you have trouble taking rest days (guilt, fear of losing momentum etc.) try an active recovery day instead. Walks, light yoga (not all yoga is ‘light’) & serious stretching can help you feel as though you’ve gotten a workout while letting your muscles recover & rebuild. My ‘rest’ days are usually full of distractions: making plans to keep your mind off “missing” your workout is a big help. Keep things light though: people like me can easily turn that walk into a ‘power’ walk. Conventional wisdom says you should take a rest day on your ‘lazy’ day. It’s up to you, but I’ve found better success taking it on a day when I’ve made other plans & commitments. If you’re a fit freak, experimenting with when you take your rest day can help you through it.
Remember: workouts are body DAMAGE. Results come from making enough time for our bodies to rebuild stronger than before. The more intense your workouts, the more rest days you need: take them. :)
Rest days: they’re part of the program TOO.
Stretch Out Sundays: Try this 20 minute yoga/stretch routine on your rest day. It’s a great way to “recover” while still feeling as though you’re moving.
Stretch Out Sundays is a new feature, and each Sunday I’ll post a follow-along video or printable routine that you can add to your workouts or do on its own.
If you’ve been training HARD all week, it’s important to take some time and stretch out your muscles. Flexibility is a fitness component many people ignore, but it’s every bit as vital as your cardio & resistance training. Yoga is a great way to challenge your muscles while getting DEEP in your tissue and relieving tension you didn’t know you had.
This is a beginner/intermediate routine. It’s about 30 minutes long, and will leave you feeling loose, limber and energized. You’ll need a mat & yoga blocks if you have them.
Listen to your body! Some of these poses may be challenging. Modify them when you need to and feel free to swap them for others.
Last week’s Tone It Up stretch routine.
Did you try the Weekend Workout? It’s not too late!
Stretch Out Sundays is a new feature, and each Sunday I’ll post a follow-along stretch video or printable routine that you can add to your workouts or do on its own.
If you KILLED your workout yesterday, chances are you might be a little sore! This routine will help ease some of that post-workout pain, I promise.
Flexibility is a massive fitness component that many, MANY people ignore. The more flexible you are, the lower your risk of injury. Stretching can also alleviate post-workout soreness AND help improve your range of motion for exercises like squats, lunges and core work. (Did you know that Olympic weightlifters are second only to GYMNASTS in terms of flexibility?)
Sundays are usually my rest day, and sometimes doing a little light yoga/stretching helps me feel like I’ve gotten in my ‘workout’. Those of you who are fitness addicts like I am should ALWAYS take a day to stretch out thoroughly.
Stretchy Tip: Stretching is best done warm, but if it’s a rest day, you might not get a chance to warm up properly like you would with a workout. If that’s the case? Take a hot shower! It warms up the muscles similarly (after a workout IS best, but it’s a sassy alternative). Start your stretch routine after you’ve toweled off.
Follow along with this week’s routine from the Tone It Up girls & repeat/pause anytime you want to get a deeper or longer stretch.