My goal going into the week was to have a more restorative approach to my workouts focusing a lot more on yoga, Bodyflow and stretching. No real rhyme or reason other than I felt the need to ease off for a few days. Instead of completely taking a week off from the gym, I decided to change up the routine a little bit.
While I didn't get in as much yoga as I'd hoped, I did make it to Bodyflow three times (which does include yoga!) and made a good effort to add stretching on the gym days I didn't attend Flow. In addition, I removed all heavy lifting and took out the majority of my high impact workouts swapping them out for cycling class. I enjoy cycling because I get an amazing cardio workout while keeping things fairly low impact on the bike. Sitting here at the end of the week, I'm feeling great. I'm refreshed, energized and grateful for the taking the slight change of pace these last few days.
At first glance you might think that the laundry list of workouts looks like anything but restorative, but for me it was just what I needed. As I've continued to think through this post, a few things came to mind as to why the adjustment of routine was a smart choice.
At this point I know my body pretty well and switching up the impact/intensity/duration/type of workouts throughout the week versus stopping workouts completely is a better approach for my overall mental health. My time at the gym helps keep my daily stressors and anxiety in a happy, comfortable place. Getting some type of workout in most days of the week is better for my mind and mood than getting no workouts in at all.
When it comes to strength training, it is nice to ease off every now and again to help keep moving forward. I've found that I see more progress when I take a little time to readjust and reevaluate instead of going hardcore with weights all the time. My body likes the extra recovery too. While I still get toning in with Bodyflow and cycling, the brief pause with heavy weights is nice every once in awhile. I'm confident when I resume full strength workouts next week I will be able to up my weight, continue building more muscle and keep moving forward.
Removing some of the tough high impact group fitness classes like GRIT or BODYATTACK makes me actually miss them in some weird way. I am more excited to jump back into them when I don't do them weekly. Not to mention its never a bad idea to switch up cardio to continue challenging the body.
Consistently showing up and going to the gym daily helps keep me in the habit of going to the gym. Even people like myself who love going to the gym can fall out of routine. This is where the change of routine comes in nice. I can easily switch things up, dial down the intensity, keep attending class and won't fall out of habit.
And, if I'm to be honest... other than Sunday, my official dedicated rest day of the week, I'm not good at rest days. I'm busy. I like to be busy. I do know the importance of rest days and I LOVE my Sunday rest even though my iWatch likes to repeatedly tell me to stand up and be more active throughout the day. By lightening the load for a week I still maintain my workout habits, keep anxieties in check, rest my body, and continue to work harder over the long term. Not to mention, having one day of mandatory rest helps me push harder throughout the week because I know come Sunday that I will be taking things nice and easy.
If you find yourself feeling burnt out on your current gym routine or your body is trying to tell you to change things up for a bit, listen to it. You don't have to stop your workout habit completely but take a moment to evaluate your current routine and make micro changes that will provide you the opportunity to still be active and keep your mind right when it comes to your mental health.
All of this has me wondering...
Do you take rest days often? Does your workout routine vary from week to week? What does active recovery look like for you?
I'd love to hear more about how others change up their workouts from time to time. Leave me a comment via social or send me a message to share your own personal experiences!