While isolation is a great time to focus on your fitness goals at home, extensive physical activity can be a harmful. Trainer Sam Wood explains why you need to take a break every so often to help your body reset and rejuvenate.
From what I’ve seen in isolation, people are going one of two ways. They’re either kicking back completely and have decided that they don’t want to do any exercise, or they’ve really made a decision and a commitment to use isolation to get their bodies moving.
For the latter, I’ve noticed that many of these people are working out every day and really committing to giving it their all by using all this extra time to work towards their goals. I love seeing this as I’m a huge advocate for getting in shape at home, but it’s important to ensure that every workout isn’t maximum intensity.
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Sweaty sessions are great, but everyday is overkill
It’s great to see so many people smashing out their home HIIT workouts, but I have noticed that many of these involve high repetitions of exercises like burpees and squat jumps. These are two fantastic exercises, but if you do them (or any workout) repetitively, day after day, that’s a lot of wear and tear on the same joints and muscles. You need some yin to your yang.
Typically, I try to move my body every single day but some of these sessions are deliberately planned, lower intensity, mobility or recovery focused sessions. Whilst my personal preference is to move every day, know that it’s okay to take a day off to rest. Do it, enjoy it, don’t feel guilty about it and just get your body moving the day after.
What a rest day looks like for Sam Wood
For me however, I still like to do something really gentle and relaxing, and keep my body moving on a rest day. This is what a rest day for me might look like…
- An hour long walk with my dog, Hendrix
- A 30 minute low impact bike ride and stretch
- A 30 minute foam rolling session
Or in the warmer months, I’m a huge fan of getting in the water for a swim. All of these rest day activities work my heart and get my blood pumping BUT reduce the impact on my muscles and joints.
Remember, rest days are okay
Don’t think that lower intensity rest days or complete days off will slow down your results. In fact, they could do quite the opposite as they will increase the quality of every work out and drastically reduce the chance of injury. They also keep you mentally fresh, which is often highly underrated when it comes to getting the most out of your sessions.
So whether you want to go for a walk, get a massage or have a long hot bath, make sure you take some time out to let your body recover.
Sam Wood is a fitness expert and founder of 28 by Sam Wood. Follow him on Instagram @samjameswood.
More essential coronavirus reading:
Read up on what the government lockdown means for you, understand why Aussie doctors are up arms, be aware of the ‘hidden symptom’ of COVID-19 carriers, prepare yourself for the long-term mental health effects of the pandemic, get your sweat on at home with these free online workouts before reviving your over-washed hands with this DIY balm, and then console yourself with these unexpected joys.