21-Day Challenge

3 Weeks to Improve your Energy Levels

Day 4

on January 12, 2012

Rest Day…need I say more?

Today, I challenge you to go to bed earlier than normal.  Maybe a whole hour, earlier… Sleep is crucial to hormone balance, stress control, energy production, and maintaining a strong immune system.  This is your day off from working out, so focus on rest and eating good wholesome fruits and vegetables and lots of protein, and drink drink drink.  As I mentioned yesterday, stress can be a good thing or stress can be a bad thing.  We are hoping to add just enough stress to your body to make it respond in a positive way: for your body to become more efficient at utilizing energy, to become more fit, to use fat for energy instead of stored carbohydrates, to be stronger,  to feel better, and to increase performance in workouts and everyday function of life.  There is a fine line between too much stress and just enough stress.  Too much stress can lead to negative self-talk, long-term soreness and fatigue, burnout, chronic muscle tension, clammy hands, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and headaches-just to name a few.   Whether it’s work related stress or workout/nutrition related stress, the body reacts the same.  So being aware of how you react to stress is crucial to your health and maintenance.

Part of regulating stress is learning when to rest.  So for this week’s workout, rest comes on day 4.  And possibly 5, depending on how you are feeling by tomorrow.  I want you to be in tune with your body, pay attention to how it reacts to this new stress.  If you wake up tomorrow, ready to go because of your extra hour of sleep, then get in your cardio workout while you have the energy.  If you are really sore, not feeling real great, then let yourself off the hook and hit it hard the next 2 days.  Don’t guilt yourself into working out or not working out…let your body be your guide.  This is something I have had to come to terms with, and actually feel more energized and stronger in workouts and in everyday life, as a result.  So rest today.

Feel good about the rest, knowing your body needs it.

How are you feeling today?  How do you react to stress?

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13 responses to “Day 4

  1. DJ says:

    Feeling good today. Not so sore. Have a busy weekend coming up so hope I can find time to exercise!

  2. LaDonna says:

    Feeling not so sore. Not to big of issue with the cravings….if I have temptation, I drink water or refocus on keeping myself busy. Honestly, Im feeling some energy!

  3. Carisa says:

    I am ready for an extra hour! That is an assignment I will accept wholeheartedly!

    I don’t usually rest when I’m stressed…that’s when I kick into overdrive. I know that creating more down time is going to be important for me.

    Here is a fun idea from a blog that I came across today. We have that late afternoon everyone is hungry time…this looks fun and healthy.

    http://cookitallergyfree.com/blog/2012/01/12-healthy-snack-ideas-and-a-simple-sweet-potato-pumpkin-pie-dip/

  4. Lindy says:

    Feeling good today. Hoping to treat myself to some reading time! Being home all day today is really making me focus on snacking. I put about 1/2 cup of nuts in a small bowl as part of my breakfast, and have used that to get thru the morning. Only ate a few nuts and have more than half left for the afternoon! Also focusing on increasing water intake. Tried new cooking methods today for Randy’s lunch….one not real successful (used whole wheat flour to make a white sauce, then added colbyjack cheese) to put over broccoli. The cheese is kind of gloppy and stringy, but tastes good. I’m looking forward to trying some muffins this afternoon using my new brown rice syrup…which by the way, I ask Todd at Vogts to look into getting….:)

  5. Jennifer says:

    Baby did not sleep much last night, so rest day could not have come at a better time! I am exhausted, sore, and not very motivated today. Just not feeling so great. I know I will not be able to get to bed sooner tonight, so I took a short nap with baby this morning.

    I think I react differently to mental stress versus physical stress. High levels of mental stress can make me feel sick, but it usually motivates me to get the job done. I think a good example of mental stress was when I was balancing family and getting my Master’s degree. I sometimes feel lost without high mental stress. It’s hard for me to relax, even on the rare occasion that I have time to myself.

    High levels of physical stress make me want to get away. To sleep. When I think of physical stress, I think of being sore, exhausted, or sick. Maybe that’s why I have never regularly exercised. As Mark Twain said, “Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” That’s me. But I’ve been doing good since the challenge began. 🙂

    • AmWoods says:

      It’s amazing what lack of sleep does to a person. I hear you on the not sleeping much at night…my kids are still adjusting to each other! Glad you took advantage of sleeping when the baby sleeps…it’s a hard thing to do but very worth it for your body’s sake!

  6. Krista says:

    Don’t feel as sore today. Thankful for the rest. By the end of the week, I am pretty tired anyway. With regards to mental stress, I tend to get physically sick and have to go to the doctor. Last semester I had lots of mental stress. I am hoping it will be better. With regards to physical stress, it just makes me sore. I have learned just to deal with that. Thanks Carissa for the blog. It’s great!

  7. Brandi says:

    The agave nectar is great!

  8. Joy says:

    My back has been bothering me today and my arms are sore, but my legs and abs are feeling decent. I don’t react well to stress. It’s actually something I’ve been working on.

  9. Tracy says:

    I am like most everyone else, not feeling sore today and I even worked out extra last night at the weight room……thankful for a day of rest though! Going to bed early is difficult for me, I am a night owl, but I am going to try and be to bed by 10.

  10. Dorie says:

    It was nice to rest, not that I felt tired, but just to know that it was okay.. is that weird? I have thought more about food today, but have really had the best day as far as diet goes. Looking forward to the cardio.

  11. Brandi says:

    I do not react to stress well. Exercise is a great way for me to relieve tension. Exercise has always worked really well for me when it comes to my high anxiety level. It is amazing what a good nights rest will do for you. I needed more than an extra hour. I get about 5 hours average sleep at night. I went to bed at 10pm and popped right out of bed at 6am feeling refreshed.

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