Some thoughts and discussions from me.
Some thoughts and discussions from me.
Today is my rest day, but that goes much further than simply taking a break from the gym.
When was your last rest day? What did you do? What’d you eat? What’d you drink?
Giving your workouts your full intensity and output is important to see results from your training. But rest days, or recovery days more appropriately, are just as important.
In the video below, I’m going to discuss:
When we train, our bodies go through pretty intense metabolic snd hormonal processes – both during training, and after training.
During training, we’re producing lactic acid, bringing blood to the muscles, increasing body temperature and breathing rate, not to mention the host of hormonal changes, like increasing cortisol.
After training, our bodies are working to flush that lactic acid, synthesize protein, bring glycogen to the muscles, decrease cortisol, decrease body temp, not to mention building and repairing the muscle tissue, etc.
It takes a lot of work – which is good for burning body fat and building muscle. But, it means theres less energy for recovery and repair on training days. Less energy to devote to anti-inflammation, digestive health, hormonal health, which is also important for our fat loss and muscle building goals.
Yes, it’s important to take measures in order to push it hard in your workouts, but what you do in between workouts significantly contributes to how hard you can push it in your workouts – and the results you see from that work.
First, I think it’s important that we’re on the same page in that we NEED at least one rest day per week. Sure, you can be active on your rest day, but it should be low impact and low intensity. Your goal shouldn’t be to get your heart rate up, but instead to gently move your body. Walking or a light hike is my favorite rest day physical activity.
First, make sure you prioritize sleep every single night. I think Georgia Dow said if we could only see how productive our bodies are when they sleep, we’d prioritize it so much more.
Not only is this the optimal time for our body to rebuild and repair that lean muscle tissue, but it’s also the time for proper hormone function to occur, which is huge not only in recovering form your workouts, but also to burn body fat more efficiently.
Getting proper sleep ensures hormones like cortisol, leptin, grehlin, and insulin.
According to Leprault et all, sleep plays a major role in neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism, and chronic poor sleep quality can increase weight gain and obesity. Getting poor quality sleep can decrease insulin sensitivity over time, making it that much harder to decrease body fat.
Not to mention, it increases cortisol, grehlin, and decreases leptin, which means we feel hungry even when we don’t actually need more food.
Long story short: prioritize sleep, and do what you can to fall asleep better. With my clients and boot camp clients, making positive changes to our nutrient timing has shown to make it so much easier to fall asleep at night.
After a tough workout day, we sweat more and we produce more lactic acid. Our body is constantly working to flush that acid and bring our ph back to a more balanced state. I drink even more water on rest days than I do training days.
On rest days, I also like to prioritize nutrition, specifically as a means to decrease inflammation, increase nutrient absorption, and increase flooding nutrients to my tissues by doing the following:
1. Up my vegetable and greens supplement intake.
Vegetables and greens help to flood the body with nutrients. You don’t want your body getting minerals and vitamins from your muscle tissue, so it’s important to increase micronutrients.
2. Take in a higher dosage of ph-balancing supplements and foods– like veggies and greens powder, but also with my lemon/lime and sea salt water, and drinking more water in general. Again, we produce a lot of lactic acid during our workouts, and this helps to flush that acid.
3. Increase anti-inflammation foods and supplements.
I take a curcumin supplement every day, but on rest days, I mega dose and take 3. I also load up on easy to digest foods, healthy fats, and try to stay away from inflammatory foods like processed food.
4. Drink BCAA’s and continue to take probiotic
In order for all of those vitamins and nutrients to be able to be absorbed and used, proper digestion needs to take place. Essential amino acids help to promote absorption and liver detoxification. Some also take glutamine to aid in digestion, but this is not a supplement I take for other reasons.
I hope you find this helpful, and on your next rest day, think about upping your nutrition game, hydrating adequately, and getting proper sleep.