A workout-free week? What?! Have I gone crazy?!
If you have been following me for a while on social media, you know that I recently experienced a big burnout as a result of overtraining. I had been exercising hard non-stop for 16 months with few to no breaks. Even when I took vacations, I was finding ways to break a sweat 3-4 times a week! I talk more about my burnout here. The experience reminded me of the importance of rest – and I mean resting MORE than one day a week every once in awhile – to reset our muscles and refresh our mindset.
This is a marathon – not a sprint – and rest is key to making all of this a lifestyle.
My good friend Sara was there for me every step of the way as I got back on my feet, and together, we turned a negative into a positive that we are so excited to share with you:
- Reset your muscles
- Eat to nourish
- Consider a change
- Honor your accomplishments
- Ask yourself: Am I happy?
- Re-evaluate your goals
- Gain perspective
- Enjoy light exercise
Together, Sara and I have put together a list of eight reflection/journaling challenges to post on social media throughout your #RECHARGEWEEK – one for each goal shared above. We will be posting about each challenge next week (beginning May 9) as we embark on our #RECHARGEWEEK and invite you to join in on the fun – either next week, if you’re ready for a break, or whenever it fits best in your schedule. It does not matter what order you do the challenges in – just try to spread them out over the course of the week. We realize your training schedule may not line up with ours, so we encourage you to save these challenges for your own “exercise vacation” in the future.
Reset your muscles
- High intensity exercise is good for our bodies – but only when it is complemented with adequate rest. Take an entire week off from your fitness schedule: no group classes, no weight lifting, no long runs, no sprints, no circuits – nothing that makes you have to catch your breath (unless you’re laughing, of course!). What should you do instead? Sleep in or go to bed early. Read a book. Color a picture. Meditate. You will not lose progress as a result of taking a week’s vacation from the gym. This is as much a rest for your body as it is a test for your mind.
- CHALLENGE: Pick an activity you used to love to do (even as a child) and do it. Maybe it’s a book you have been wanting to read, or maybe you’ve been wanting to learn how to use your new DSLR camera. Post a photo of it to your IG and tell us about it with #RWreset and #rechargeweek.
Eat to nourish
- Even though you aren’t exercising intensely this week, your body still needs nourishment. Did you know that around 70% of the calories your body burns every day are spent “at rest,” and only around 20% are burned from physical activity? You don’t have to work out to “earn” food. This week, we are reminding ourselves of this important rule, and we are revisiting what balance looks like for us from a nutritional standpoint. Balance definitely means different things for different people. It doesn’t mean tracking every morsel, every ounce, every calorie, every macro every meal, every day, but it also doesn’t mean eating junk every hour of every day either. This week is not about tracking food – but it’s not about going on a wild binge, either. It’s about listening to your body, fueling it properly with foods that are going to nourish you and energize you, and also enjoying those not so healthy treats that are simply good for the soul.
- CHALLENGE: Taking this non-tracking approach for a week may be a big enough challenge in itself. Food is oftentimes the hardest part of this journey. Maybe think back to a time when food wasn’t connected to weight/weight loss/fitness, etc. For a lot of us, that was when we were kids. Post about how this is going for you this week and what you have learned about yourself and your journey as a result. Share using #RWnourish and #rechargeweek.
Consider a change
- Reflect on where you are currently on your journey. How are things going? Be honest with yourself. Are you still finding meal prep difficult? Are you still not finding you groove with your fitness schedule? Identify key issues that are getting in the way of your success and come up with a solution to fix them.
- CHALLENGE: Divide this challenge into two posts: Things you feel are going well versus areas of your life you want to change. For the latter, after you identify areas that might need a change, come up with a few steps that will help you initiate that change. Set a timeline up for yourself as well as a reward for when you succeed. Share using #RWchange and #rechargeweek.
Honor your accomplishments
- Accomplishments come in all shapes and sizes. They aren’t just physical growth – they are mental wins as well. Identify a few ways exercise has benefited you as well as a few successes you’ve obtained. Maybe you upped your weights on a challenging exercise or finally did your first full rep of something you never thought you could do. Maybe you finally found balance with food. Accomplishments can happen in many ways.
- CHALLENGE: Do a post about something (or several things) you’re proud of. It’s hard for us to toot own horns sometimes, so use this opportunity to show yourself some love – we all know you deserve it! Share using #RWproud and #rechargeweek.
Ask yourself: Am I happy?
- It’s important to ask ourselves this question every once in awhile, because it’s easier than we think to get stuck in a rut and be unhappy without actually realizing it. So ask yourself – are you making time for the things you value? Values are different from goals. Values are things like “making meaningful relationships” and “honoring the environment.”
- CHALLENGE: Have you ever taken the time to write down what you value? If not, make a list and share it in a post. Identify values that are not receiving enough time and come up with a plan to give them some love. These are not things that your parents or friends think you should care about – these are things YOU truly care about. Share using #RWhappy and #rechargeweek.
Re-evaluate your goals
- Goals change because we change. Are you still on the path toward reaching a goal that you truly care about? Have your goals shifted a bit? If so, how does your plan need to change?
- CHALLENGE: After sharing the goals and values that need some work, come up with an actionable and attainable plan to reach those goals. Instead of “eat healthier,” for example, write “meal prep healthy meals for the week on Sunday.” Share using #RWgoals and #rechargeweek.
- Sometimes we get so close to something that we lose the big picture. It’s good to be laser-focused on reaching your goals, but it’s also essential to keep the big picture in mind and to be flexible when necessary. So take a few steps back and look at where you’re headed. Talk to others about your goals and get their input. Remember that progress is so much more than weight lost or muscle gained.
- CHALLENGE: Share a motivational quote and tell us what it means to you. It can be one you find online, one you make up, or one that comes out of a meaningful conversation this week about your goals and journey. Share using #RWquote and #rechargeweek.
Enjoy light exercise
- Do what feels good this week without your fitness tracker and preferably not in a gym. Practice some yoga. Take a slow walk outside. Sit in child’s pose for an hour. Get re-acclimated with your body – how it moves and bends.
- CHALLENGE: Take a photo of yourself practicing your light exercise for IG. In the caption, write about your experience with #RWenjoy and #rechargeweek.
Sara and I greatly look forward to recharging next week and hope you find your own #RECHARGEWEEK to be beneficial for both body AND mind.
Lots of love,