A main Scales On Fire theme is that we’re all different, so approaching exercise with the pre-conceived stigma that rest days are to be taken a certain way can be very detrimental. Exercise should be about exploration-not only the exploration of forms and rules, but the exploration of one’s own body. Testing resistance to fatigue, testing recovery and forcing muscle memory. Those individuals not trying to do this simply aren’t seeing the results they’d like. They also, in my opinion are the people who schedule their rest days according to the World-Wide Order of Muscleheads doctrine. I mean, they already work alternating body parts on alternating days and must have “cardio” before a strength workout to “balance things.” As much as everyone doesn’t need these generic structural rules for exercise, neither do they need scheduled rest days.
What they should do is rest when they’re tired, and exercise every day until that day comes. Also, treating a rest day like fat Tuesday means that you’re treating exercise like a debit program, feeling like you’ll work off what you ate and drank the next day, which absolutely never works long-term. Being active is about testing the body far more than it is about making the body look better or finding generic ways to do it. Testing the body brings many benefits, looking better just happens to be one.
It’s not always good to just preach to people who aren’t active about ways to be active. I really think that the most important group are those who want to be active, but can’t sustain activity. It may be easy for them to say that they simply aren’t in good enough shape to push through things like soreness and fatigue to see certain goals. But how will they ever get into shape without really pushing their bodies?
The answer, they don’t. They think that people who push themselves more than average are “crazy,” and they are usually impressed, awed and discouraged by other people’s feats of fitness. Rarely are they ever inspired, which might actually help them to accept that wanting to push yourself is human. My advice, make exercise about surprising yourself, especially when you don’t feel exactly confident about the way you will perform. These times will help more with your overall fitness, focus, and optimism than the days you feel great.
What does your food and drink do for you?
If you’re active and it doesn’t help you be more active, then it’s not doing enough. The whole “food as fuel” concept is far reaching for most Americans, being that taste is the main tipping point for American eaters, and because most of these individuals are not active. But of those who are, many have no idea that things like proteins, water, and green vegetables are things that can speed recovery and help cells and muscles perform on a day-to-day basis.
Balancing exercise a busy work day and finding time to spend with loved ones hinges mostly on the way one conditions the body. Meaning, helping energy levels with sufficient exercise, eating the proper items to continue that exercise, and getting enough sleep will automatically make balancing the important things quite easy. So try putting into your body only the things that will force it to perform over and over, and enjoy the benefits.