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Rest Days?

Conventional “wisdom” says that you should only train a few times a week and never back-to-back days. The famous phrase is “Go hard and then go home.”

Science is finally catching up with the true wisdom known by farmers and laborers from decades past. The British Heart Foundation recently published an article saying that daily training/activity is needed to ward off cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

Public Health Foundations‘ research said virtually the same thing. “Daily activity is highly advised for overall health and wellness.”

Why?

Training like the Hulk on Friday and rarely move off the couch on Saturday does the following:

  • Metabolism slows down
  • Brain produces fewer endorphins (these are the chemicals that make you feel good. Think “Christmas mornings, age 8” kind of feeling.)
  • Muscle recovery is actually impaired. Basically, the body cannot flush all of the toxins that were produced from the hard workout from the day before.
  • Lowers overall energy.
  • Increases weight.

Does this mean I need to hit the gym 7 days a week or cycle 50 miles a day, every day?

No, of course not. Unless you are a professional athlete or have all the time in the world, this is impractical.

The recommendation is this:

  1. Training Day.
  2. Active Recovery Day.

Training days are what you would expect – go to the gym, run on the trail, swim laps in the pool, go to your favorite aerobics classes etc. This is recommended 3-4 times per week.

Active Recovery Day. This is where the low-intensity stuff fits. Go for a walk. Take the dog with you. Stretch or do yoga. Play golf or take a leisurely bike ride in Nature. Something that is both enjoyable and steady state.

You will feel better both physically and emotionally. In fact, it is one of THE best treatments for alleviating depression.

You will normalize your weight, increase energy and simply feel great.

 

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