Exercise! - Help! Need advice. Questions regarding rest!

01-18-2012, 08:40 PM
So I have been a longtime yo-yo exerciser. I run half marathons and lift weights. I have stints of consistency and stints of total couch potatoness.

After years of being someone who does exercise most of the time I would think I would have some idea about this. But alas it is one of my biggest battles in my own mind when it comes to working out.

Heres my question:

I know and I've heard many times how important rest is for your body. I know you need to recover and that injury can result if you don't give your body time to rest.

How much rest do you really need though? Lately I have had the time and the motivation to work out pretty consistently. I make sure I take one day off a week. But I like working out the other 6. And I feel if I dont do something that is difficult when I feel that I can, then it almost feels like the workout is a waste.

I know its not really a waste, but it can feel like if I am not pushing myself hard then I am not getting as much benefit as I could be getting.

A big part of this question concerns running. Like yesterday I ran my long run (only a bit over 4 at this stage in my training program) and that evening I went to the gym and lifted legs. Now the reason I did that is because I dont like having to take a day off running besides my rest day, and I have read that running the day after lifting legs in a no-no. So I figured kill two birds with one stone. Long runs and lift the same day so I can run five days a week.

Is this dumb to want to run five days a week?

I have a friend who is an amazing runner. Like ultra marathons. He only takes a single day a week off from running. He does 20 mile runs or more and that same week will do a 14 or 16 mile run, along with 3 or 4 more that are 4-10 miles.

Now I am not even in the same solar systems in physical fitness as him, but why can serious athletes kick their butts hard most everyday, but its recomended that us mere mortals take a few rest days a week?

Sorry this was so long. I just feel like if I am tired thats an indication that I need an easier day. But when I feel motivated and feel like I can push hard why shouldn't I just because I'm supposed to be resting?

01-18-2012, 09:08 PM
I'm not going to base my answer on any research or anything like that, so take it for what it's worth. ;) I think you should go based on how your body feels physically. If you have energy and feel good, you shouldn't take a break just because you think you should. Same goes for rest. If you are truly worn out, your body needs some time to recover. I think our bodies are great at letting us know what we need most of the time.

As far as feeling like it's not worth it....I get it. Maybe you could use a pedometer to track your steps? My husband has been using one (actually, it's a fitbit) and it really motivates him and makes him feel like he has accomplished a lot since he likes numbers and it gives him something concrete he can review. Just a thought.

01-18-2012, 09:40 PM
luckymommy- Thanks, and I agree. If I feel like I can, I think my body knows best. I guess I just wanted some reasurance that I wasn't missing an important component by not resting when ascribed. Besides I KNOW that while I have time to go consistently right now, I definitely will have plenty of times that I don't have that abilty and therefore have plenty of rest days in my future. Thanks for the response :).

01-19-2012, 11:37 AM
I don't see why you can't work out 6 days a week...I'm a huge Jillian Michaels fan and I've heard her say there is nothing wrong with that at all...whenever I played sports in high schoool/college it was always 6 days a week [I ran track, cross country etc] and there was never an issue...so I mean yes go by your body but as long as you're taking that day to rest then I don't see what's wrong with working/running/lifting the other 6 days. As you pointed out, athletes do it, and their bodies are in PRIME shape...

I personally try to work out 6 days a week but usually only end up doing 5. When I can do 6, I just do hard days and light days and mix it up so I'm doing something/being active but it isn't 6 days of death either...good luck!