We are all guilty of burning the candle at both ends. Whether it’s work or play we often forget that 4 letter word that should follow – rest! Add into the mix trying to fit exercise in every week and it’s no surprise we end up feeling exhausted by Sunday.
This exhaustion is often the reason exercise gets demoted to the bottom of the pile and is easily dismissed during a busy week. If you skip exercise you will probably find you are still just as tired. This is because exercise is known for improving our energy levels. So, what’s the solution to fitting in work, workouts, a social life and rest and relaxation?
Don’t say yes to everything!
Whether I’ve been offered extra work or invited out, I always check my diary first. If I’m free on that day I will pencil it in without hesitation. What’s wrong with that, seems pretty logical right?
Well what I should also be doing is checking my schedule the week beforehand and the week after. It is only when I just so happen to flick through my diary that I realise I have full months where every weekend is booked up or I have hardly any days off work.
We need to remember that it is OK to say no sometimes!
Our friends and family won’t desert us, our career won’t suddenly go down the toilet and we won’t put on any weight by taking a rest day.
Nowadays I know very few of us work Monday-Friday 9-5 but you should try and establish a few days in the month where you have nothing planned. Treat these days as days off from work, play and working out.
Be smarter and make your workouts more efficient
The NHS recommends either at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity.
An example of moderate exercise would be a brisk walk and an example of vigorous would be an aerobics class.
Committing to being fit and healthy does not mean signing away every free evening and weekend to the gym. If you do a one-hour fitness class like Dance Fit once a week, you are only 15 minutes away from completing your recommended 75 minutes of vigorous activity.
Depending on how high intensity you want to go, you should be aiming for one to two and a half hours of physical activity a week.
Make that time count and pick an activity firstly that you enjoy and secondly that works your whole body. Find an exercise that does the multi-tasking for you so you don’t have to!
Suddenly fitting in exercise doesn’t sound so scary does it?
The importance of not over doing it
This goes for every aspect of life. Too much strenuous exercise without enough rest can affect your immune system by killing off your white blood cells. Working out 2 days in a row should be followed by a rest day.
If you work over time without breaks your brain becomes frazzled and you can’t do your job as well. Our bodies react similarly if we do not recover properly after an intense exercise session. You won’t be able to reach your full potential if you aren’t physically at 100%.
I’m sure we all have bad memories of over doing it on the partying front so there’s no need to remind ourselves of that!
Find ways to rest
If you are anything like me you might actually not be very good at resting! It can be so hard to switch off. There’s always that niggling feeling that you are wasting the day. It’s sometimes hard to resist the temptation to make plans.
But we have to learn that sometimes a day of doing nothing is not a waste, it is important for our health and sanity! Whether it’s reading, watching a film, taking a bath or coffee with a friend, it’s essential to find a way to relax.
It is OK to rest and BELIEVE me no-one needs to hear this more than me! So, it’s time to stop feeling guilty and get planning your next day off.