KM, take a look at my Sparkpage latest updates for some insight into how I am trying to deal with this very same problem. Rest and relaxation is just as important to your overall well being as activity and exercise. Good luck!
I sometimes suffer from the same problem and try to think of my easy days as days of actively building my muscle. It's also a good day to focus on something else, such as finding and trying out healthy new recipes, mental exercises, or doing some extra stretching or yoga to improve flexibility.
Especially if that intense exercise is running, it is important to have lower impact days as part of your schedule. It takes time for your body to adjust to the impact and stresses of running, and your leg muscles and tendons need these lower impact days to adjust. Running every day increases your risk of injury, which would of course sideline you for longer than if you took a few lower intensity days. Even Olympic class athletes have lighter days in their training schedule - and you should too!
In terms of building fitness, if you are already working out intensely for 4 days per week, the additional benefit of working out another 2 or 3 days per week is not huge.
One way you can increase the intensity of your walking without increasing the impact is by including some hills in your route.
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 1/19/12 7:15 P
Remember that when the body is under constant stress it cannot make the adaptation to exercise. While you may not be burned out now, that is a possibility. That along with a greater risk for injury. Remember healthy living is a lifestyle. There is no end to this way of living. Trying to do too much too soon can leave you overwhelmed and the minute you have to miss a workout for whatever reason, this can cause the guilt you mentioned in your post. Just know that you do not have to have a PERFECT life to have a healthy life.
I wish you well! Coach Nancy
Fitness Minutes: (218,258)
11,022 1/19/12 7:14 P
You are right about being guilty as you are robbing your lean muscle. When you exercise without giving your body to recover, you can lose muscle mass. But don't fret too much, a one tme shot won't destroy you. Just remember that your ligaments also need time to recover. It's great that you have your goals established. Have a good year, Earl
Edited by: NEPTUNE1939 at: 1/19/2012 (19:15)
Fitness Minutes: (10,289)
1/19/12 6:58 P
I've been a competitive person my entire life, and when I set my mind to something... I want to do it to the fullest. It's really a good quality to have, but this has been a bit of an issue for me when it comes to rest days. As of right now I have myself doing four days of intense cardio a week, and three days of easier cardio (walking, etc.), along with strength training in between. I know I have "easy" days for a reason, because my body needs time to rest and rejuvenate itself.
However, for example, today I was going to go on a long walk, and I couldn't help but feel guilty for walking, so eventually I just started running. I ran pretty much the entire three miles and I was EXHAUSTED after. It felt great, but now I know my intense cardio day is tomorrow... and that's going to be very difficult for me. At the same time, I know I will do it anyway because I will feel guilty if I don't.
This always happens and I think it's why I get burnt out on exercise after awhile. I don't know how to tell myself that it's okay to take it easy on certain days and to not feel the guilt associated with it. Does this happen to anyone else, and do you have any tips on how to stop the guilt?
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this website can be used without the permission of SparkPeople or its authorized affiliates.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.