Triathlon for Weightloss? Part 4: Rest

author : acbadger
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Here it is, your last part of our 4-part weight loss series. This is the easy stuff, but it is stuff we take for granted.


One MAJOR component of an exercise and weight loss program is REST. Now, I’m not saying to stop exercising and take up crocheting, but I am saying take at least one, if not two FULL DAYS of rest per week. Your body needs time to recover and rebuild. Did you know when you exercise that you are actually creating little tears in your muscles? When your muscles rebuild and heal, they become bigger and stronger. This is where the rest comes in. Your body needs this rest to in order to become physically capable of enduring the rigors you put it through.


You may even see a decline in your performance, strength, etc. because you are doing TOO much. For example, did you know there was such a thing as doing TOO MUCH cardiovascular exercise?? Well, there is. Your body will start feeding off of its own muscles stores in an attempt to keep your energy up while trying to finish a workout. If you are not strength training enough to produce the lean muscle mass we all know, love and wish we had, then after your body rids itself of its glycogen/carbohydrate stores, it will turn to what muscle you do have, in fact giving you a ‘softer’ look because of the lack muscle mass/definition. You may even start losing weight, but its not fat weight you are losing - its muscle mass!! It’s the muscle we want...the fat we don’t.


To find out if this is happening to you, you could ask a personal trainer at your local gym to measure your body fat. Most fitness centers have electro impedance scales or hand held body fat testers.  These are not as accurate as the skin fold calipers or hydrostatic weighing. Now, most fitness centers do not have a hydro-pod, so try to find a gym that measures body fat with skin fold calipers. They are the second most accurate way to measure body fat. Be sure your trainer is trained on how to use them. Ask for the most skilled trainer to get your body fat measurements done and try to return to them every time you get tested. There is no need to test more than 8 to 12 weeks between each visit. Give yourself time to make the POSITIVE changes you are looking for. If your weight drops, but your body fat goes up…consider you may be over-training and take some much needed days off.


Did you also know that one of the most optimal times for burning fat is when you are sleeping??? Well, it is! Just another GREAT reason why you should be getting 8 hours of sleep per night!!


Some signs of overtraining are chronic fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, as well as becoming more prone to injury and illness. If you experience any of these symptoms of overtraining, ease up on your training right away and take some time to re-evaluate your goals and your workouts.

 

Here are some other CAUSES of overtraining:

  • Lack of sleep. Try to get AT LEAST 6 hours of sleep a night. 8 hours per night would be optimal, but for some people that is not doable. Lack of sleep can cause you to feel chronically tired causing workouts to suffer.
     

  • Added activity. Its spring time!!! This is the time of year when we add lots of things to our plates. Kids baseball, trips to the beach, yard work, spring cleaning, triathlon season, etc. All of these things we try to pack into a mere 7 days!! This alone can cause us to feel VERY fatigued, making our workouts less effective.
     

  • Illnesses. Sinus infections and allergies are a huge problem this time of year. The smallest ailment can cause us the greatest fatigue sometimes. Let your body recover for a couple of days and then have at it. Until then, let your body mend.
     

  • Stress. If you are stressed out, you may expend huge amounts of energy that you are not even aware of. Lots of times, when I’m stressed I feel like a workout will make me feel better...and sometimes that is the case. However, if you are stressed out AND feeling very tired, drained and emotionally not there then it’s probably in your best interest to get some rest!! Let your body unwind. Find a quiet, calm, happy place to be and spend some time there during your day - and this is NOT at the gym. Stress is a big cause of weight gain!! Rest, de-stress, sleep and LOSE weight!

Good luck with your weight loss goals. As long as you are sure to SCHEDULE in your rest days and do not ignore them, or decide that Pilates isn’t really a workout (because it is!!!!) and do it on your ‘OFF’ day, you will see results in a matter of 4 to 8 weeks.


Stay well rested everyone and you will stay WELL!

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date: May 22, 2007

Author


acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

Author

avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

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