While there is no doubting that exercise is good for you in almost every way imaginable, it does have one downside: it's stress on your body.
To an extent, that's the point. We build muscle by creating micro-tears along the muscle, which then heal thicker and stronger. It's building strength through destruction - and without doing so, you're not going to be able to reach your fitness goals. It's the same with cardio work, where we push ourselves to a point we can't tolerate to force our bodies to make adjustments that leave us fitter in the long run.
This stress can begin to tell, though - and mean you need to make a few adjustments. If you have been following a strict exercise regime, then you may start to notice you are struggling with things you might have found easy before. Is your fitness beginning to wane? Do you just need to push harder to get through it?
No, not at all - you just need to switch what you're doing. For most people, a week refresh every three months is sufficient to prevent serious injury or fatigue. It's a refresher course but for a short enough time that it won't wreck your overall fitness aims. Give yourself a chance to recharge by making four simple substitutions for the week - and you'll feel the benefits of it for the rest of the time.
- Up Your Protein Intake
If you have been exercising regularly, then you will already know the benefits of protein, but for this week, really push the boat out. Make sure you vary the sources of protein, too - fish, tofu, and nuts are a way of varying your intake.
- Switch to Low Impact Exercise
If you're usually all about getting your sweat on and making an impact in the gym, then the idea of turning to low impact may not be particularly exciting. But this is about giving your body a break, so switch out your usual routine in favor of walking and swimming for seven days.
Don't take this workout lightly; you'll still need to warm up, have the right gear such as nose plugs or walking shoes, and cool down effectively. If you're not sure where to start, read online advice guides or visit www.WomensWalkingShoeReview.com for advice - it would be a mistake to underestimate these gentler forms of workout! Low impact doesn't mean "no impact", so be careful.
- Focus on Toning Rather Than Strengthening
If you usually have a weights regime, then exchange it for a focus on toning rather than building muscle for seven days. Yoga and pilates are a good way to do this; even at entry-level, they will have many benefits.
Whether you go to a spa or do it yourself using hand-held devices, massage can help get you ready for a return to normal. If you have any particular problem areas, investigate a treatment known as Myofascial Release - you can find more info at https://www.myofascialrelease.com - it can be unpleasant, but the results for your body will make it worthwhile.