As I sit here writing this today, I am not a happy camper. I had to forgo my morning cardio due to a nagging hip injury. I aggravated it on Sunday during my long run and knew I should have nursed it back to health, yet I didn't practice what I preach and rather than give my body the rest and attention it needed, I continued to do too much the next two days, biking, lifting, running, swimming, and leading my fitness camp. Now I have to suffer the consequences and I'm stuck on the sideline for the next couple of days while I nurse my injury. While some people might call that heaven, I call it torture. I really looking forward to getting my heart pumping most days of the week. It's a good reality check for me, and a good reminder for all of you, to listen to your bodies.
Aches and pains are your body's way of letting you know, in a gentle whisper, that it needs a break and a little tender loving care. If you choose to ignore it and push it to the limit instead, it will rebel with more severe aches and pains as it screams at you to just give it a rest already. Wouldn't you rather listen to the whisper, take it easy for a couple of days, do some good stretching and some lower impact exercises and be able to get back to your regular intensity as soon as possible than wait til your body is screaming at you before you slow down causing you to end up sidelined completed for several days? I know I sure would.
I've been brutally reminded that I need listen to my body; it knows what it needs. Take a lesson from me and be good to yourself. Be sure to include at least 1 easy day into your workout week and at least one complete rest day. You can even double these amounts if you work out really intensely. Be sure to stretch thoroughly after each workout. Also be sure to include a warm-up and a cool-down each time you get active. Do everything in your power to avoid injury, but if you do find yourself injured, be sure to be your own best possible nurse by icing your injury, giving yourself proper rest, and easing back into your workouts when your body is finally ready. There's nothing wrong with a little R and R, especially when you're active. Your body needs rest once in a while and you owe it a day off, after working it so hard. When is your scheduled rest day this week? Be sure you've got it penciled in and when it comes, find a good book, kick up your feet and RELAX. You deserve it!