I'm a strong believer in the importance of rest. Many athletes and would be athletes get burned out trying too hard to lose weight and / or get in shape. Muscle soreness, lack of energy and even injury can result when we push or bodies to hard.
This is especially true as we get older. The senior athlete needs more time between volunteer workouts to rest, repair, & recovery. For me three days between strength building works seem to work best. After three days I very rested, strong and ready to blast into my workout. Research looks to back me up in fact as far as strength building goes sometimes less is more.
Most of the time the days I spend between strength building exercises are spent doing cardio, walking and / or Qigong, so I'm not really resting my body completely, but am engaging in some form of physical exercise. But is there value in doing nothing?
For me the idea of doing nothing is hard to grasp. I'm not the type who enjoys just lying around. The recent two days I spent in the hospital drve me bonkers! Granted I was not really sick, but even so I could not have stood another day in bed. However there was one benefit of doing nothing, I had plenty of time to think and meditate.
I had time to evaluate my fitness progress and even more important to review my goals, relationships and self development. This addressed in some tweaking of my goals and establishing some new goals.
Call it a self assessment, but the time I spent doing nothing really helped me focus on what's important. One of my new goals is to spend more time doing nothing, time spent mediating, reading inspirational books and listening to good music can have real value.
Another item I have adding to my fitness program is taking an afternoon nap. It took a while to accept the idea that a nap was a good idea and not to feel guilty about taking one, but finally I have fallen into the routine and eagerly look forward to a “quiet time.” I guess the nap is the ultimate do nothing thing. I usually wake feeling recharged and ready for the rest of the day. Now being retired I have the advantage of pretty much taking a nap whenever I want to and most of my friends and family accept the fact that I'm older and need a nap. (Yes, I do use my age to my advantage when it suits me,) I also try to take ten to twenty minutes a day meditating. Both the nap and meditating really seem to help not only my physical but mental well being.
If you work it may be hard to take a nap, although more and more progressive companies are allowing employees a twenty minute 'power nap' some even provide a nap / mediation room. or better yet go outside and sit in the sun with your lunch and just be quiet and enjoy the day.
So take resting to a new level and try doing nothing or as the old guru on the mountain top say say, “Just Be.” Doing nothing will recharge your batteries, help your body to recover for the last workout and even reduce mental stress giving you a new lookout on life. So try taking your period periods to a new level try doing nothing.