For years I ran away from exercising so when I started exercising properly (only cardio initially and then slowly I added weights) I always wanted to be able to make it a habit something that was not forced on me but something I did happily...I did my research on how to make something a habit...most places say if you can make yourself do something for 21 days in a row it will become a habit...so happily I made an exercise plan for 21 consecutive days...hoping everything will go as planned.
Little did I realise that my plan was flawed from the beginning, even though I had good intentions I did not really think my plan through, making an exercise plan is not only about making time for your daily exercise but it is more about taking care of your body and listening to your body..
I was overweight, I was not used to walking more than a block (even that was only in emergency) or climbing stairs (I always used the elevator), I was not used to doing the simple everyday activities in life and my new workout plan was to do an hour of cardio everyday (walk/jog....more walk )and few exercises at home...I started with a lot of determination, day 1 went well...I was tired and hurting but I did it...I did what I planned...day 2, day 3 were OK too...but day 4 I noticed my legs hurt a little more than usual but I had to stick to my 21 day plan so I pushed day 6 I was actually getting cramps in my calf muscles..I still continued...I think by day 10 everything had gone downhill...I was in pain...even though I did my planned workout I knew I was not putting in the same effort and in the entire process I actually injured myself...so in short I was out in 12-14 days I did not reach my 21 day goal and I was very disappointed...
That’s when I realised the importance of rest days...I always thought 'rest day' was for somebody who did a lot of muscle training or weight training but I think it is very important to give your body a break..even if you are only starting of with cardio, if your body is not used to it...it will need to rest and recover...
I personally workout 6 days a week and the 1 day that I take break doesn't mean I'm not moving at all...I do other things..maybe go for a stroll...just something that doesn’t strain my body as much...
Even on my 6 workout days I don’t strain the same muscles on consecutive days...I even switch my cardio exercises I switch between jogging, climbing stairs, spinning and zumba...so I get my cardio done but I think my body feels less strained as compared to if I was repeating the same thing for the entire week plus it’s more fun..for weights I concentrate of different muscle groups..
I know when you first start you feel like you want to give it your all but always think long term...imagine giving your all for 7 days and then giving only 20- 30% because your body was just not ready. I think I not only landed up injuring yourself but also unknowingly spoiled my own weight loss plan...out of the 14 days that I worked I could not give my 100% always so the weight loss would naturally not be as expected...‘When you make a workout plan...always include rest days...don’t think of rest day as going off track but think of them as an important part helping you maintain your plan’
How do you decide your rest day? What do you do on your rest day?
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