The one mistake you are making in the gym that might surprise you!

 A few years ago I committed to doing a 30 day video program with a friend. I was all in. I did something every single day for that 30 days, and for the 9 months that followed. Even if what I was doing called for a rest, I would find another workout to do. I had set my daily exercise minimum to 20 minutes of hiit and refused to skip my workout. I was afraid that if I let myself miss once, take a break once, that I would allow that moment of rest to give excuses the door it needed to creep in.

The thing is our bodies were not designed for that. We need that rest and recovery. My view of what rest was- doing nothing- was wrong. It took my body completely wearing out, hitting a plateau that I just could not break no matter how much I restricted my calories and how much more I worked out.

The ACSM recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercise per week. You can do this several ways- spend 30 to 60 minutes working out moderately five days per week or spending 20 to 60 minutes working out vigorously. They also recommend strength training each major muscle group two to three days per week with at least 48 hours recovery between training sessions. This leaves us 2 days to rest-

Why rest? Resting is just as important as working out because of the process required to build strength, endurance, and muscle. When you work out you break down body tissue and this tissue needs time to rest and rebuild to grow back stronger. Nutrition, sleep, and hydration all play key roles in repairing and strengthening your muscles. Muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen, and built in bed.

During the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, we engage in Active Rest days. If you are really feeling sore, tired, etc. you are encouraged to take the day off, but otherwise engaging in a longer duration low intensity workout, such as yoga or walking, will help speed up the process. Taking an active rest day will hasten your recovery, making you feel stronger and faster when you're back in workout-mode.

Hopefully you are incorporating some rest into your weekly workout routine, but if you aren’t you should be. I have found that personally I am more successful when it comes to working out if I have a plan, but that plan can include rest days built in! In fact they should! I would love if you would Tag or Share this out with a friend, comment below with your favorite active recovery, and let me know that this content is valuable to you that way I can continue to share tips and information that you all want to hear.

For those of you who made it this far- if you are thinking about how the FASTer Way could benefit you heading into summer and want to grab your spot early before they are gone registration is open on my website. I will be announcing my next round on Monday, but I will have a women’s and men’s  group starting on May 14th and we have a really special partners challenge with some amazing prizes that will start on May 21st. I have a coupon code you can enter and save on registration for your spouse/partner for that challenge (or even if you don’t want to do the challenge, but both want to do the program!) Comment below for more information.

Emily Copeland