The Importance of Balancing Recovery and Stress

Lately I have been BUSY. It seems that on top of the normal work day, lots of errands and other responsibilities piled up too. Now, this isn’t that big of a problem, but throwing training on top of a markedly increased daily activity level can do a number on recovery. Just to give you an idea…I took 20,254 steps one day, 19,326 another day, 16, 574 another, and 14,196 on another day. This is all in the span of one week…on top of my normal training routine. Needless to say, my recovery has taken a big hit. I have been trying to eat to support all of the activity, but you can only eat yourself out of so big a hole.

So I decided that it was time for some rest and a little less training stress. When we take a break from training, we naturally begin to lose fitness. If we just take days off, we can lose some of the work capacity and skill that we recently gained. I have been happy with my progress lately, and I don’t want to risk losing gains because of a busy schedule at work.

This is where light training comes in. Light training is NOT meant to overload your body, but is meant to ensure that you preserve your recent fitness gains. Usually a light day will have about half as much volume as your normal training and almost as much (maybe 90% or so) of your normal intensity level.

So this morning I did a light workout and it felt great! I got enough time in the gym that I felt productive and energized, but didn’t push myself far enough that I felt more fatigued afterward.

We can accrue stress from a variety of sources. Most people automatically categorize stress as bad, but in most cases, acute stress is actually a great thing. These short-lived times of discomfort (such as a challenging workout or an occasional rough day at work) provide a stimulus to our bodies that, if we know how to recover, make us stronger and better able to handle the next challenge.

Chronic stress on the other hand deserves all of the negative press that it gets. A relationship that is a continual drain, a job that pushes us to emotional and mental limits consistently, and the like, ARE NOT THINGS THAT MAKE US BETTER! They slowly destroy us. We have to do our best to find a way to leave the situation, change it for the better, or do our best to stay present and not accumulate unfavorable fatigue.

Well…I hope you found something here that helped you out! Until next time…

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