An Extra Hour

Fall Back is easily my favorite holiday.

Couldn’t we all use an extra hour every day to get more done? And magically, every Fall one is handed to us like a gift. (I am aware that this hour is rudely stripped away from us in the Spring, but today, staring down the long Winter ahead, Spring Forward seems very, very far off.)

Most people say they use this extra hour for sleep. Certainly many of us can use it.

I didn’t sleep later than usual today, but thanks to the Fall Back Fairy, even though I got up at 5 a.m. I still got almost eight hours of sleep. (We go to bed pretty early, even on the weekends.)

Sunday is typically a rest day for me. For years, I had the hardest time convincing myself to take a rest day. I felt like I should be working out as much as possible and that meant every day.

Now I know better. Because I train so hard on the days I do workout, it is that much more important to give my body at least a day to completely recover. It not only allows my body to repair itself, but it also reduces the risk of overtraining which can lead to injury, and that’s the last thing I want.

But today we had a whole extra hour to play with, so Hubby and I did a yoga DVD at home. Even though it is a rest day, a light yoga or stretching routine can be just what the doctor ordered for tired muscles after a grueling week.

If you are working out at a moderate to vigorous intensity 5-6 days week, be sure to take at least one day a week off from intense activity. You can do light activity like walking the dog, a family bike ride, or yoga, but be sure you’re giving your body the rest it needs.

(If you are obese and working to lose a very large amount of weight, it is not as necessary to incorporate a rest day into your routine. Because your workouts are likely less intense and the health improvements of activity are so great, you can safely exercise at a moderate intensity up to 60 minutes a day as many as seven days a week.)

So enjoy your extra hour today, and don’t feel guilty about using it for rest- your body needs it.

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