What To Do On Your Non Weighttraining days?

September 25, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Relax and Build muscle faster

Weight lifting is intense! It will leave your muscles feeling sore and leave you feeling exhausted and if you are training properly, you will always feel the pain. (It just eases up over time)

Now we all know that the next day after a workout will be a rest day, and rightly so.  But have you considered actually doing something on those days instead of resting? (And I don’t mean alternate workouts either). Activities that don’t involve using mega strength or cause exhaustion, that will be beneficial to your mind and soul that will give you a sense of relaxation and increased self-awareness?

Well you should! And you will enjoy your weight training workouts more when doing so.

So what activities should you do?

Swimming

Backstroke
Now this activity is breaking the rules a little, as swimming can be classed as a moderate intensity cardio workout. The answer on how to avoid doing that is simple…

No hard swimming!

Stick to swimming styles such as the backstroke or breaststroke. When doing so, swimming then becomes a very relaxing activity that can also assist in healing your war torn muscles from the intense workout you had previously. Swimming will also relieve your mind from built up stress and tension and help revive those energy levels, doing wonders for your mental.

Although you won’t be perusing this activity with a workout state of mind, the movements you make during swimming will strengthen your heart muscles and help deliver oxygen throughout your body, which will then help you perform better in your cardio training workouts.

Swimming is a basic and common activity for sure, but not everyone takes it up, so if that is you, make sure you get your Lara croft Tomb Raider dive on for your next rest day from the gym.

Yoga

chakras

I’ve talked about the benefits of taking up yoga in a previous post, and I also encouraged guys to take it up as well. Yoga is great for a number of reasons.

  • Greater flexibility
  • Increased circulation
  • Muscle balance
  • Spinal alignment (Still keep your form while lifting)

The key reason I included yoga is because one thing it helps you do is stop! Fully relax and find self-awareness. And for me, stopping and finding self-awareness is where the real value is, as I’m sure you can agree that the activities in our daily lives keep our minds racing away at a ‘sometimes’ uncontrollable pace.

Overall, yoga will help you fully relax your muscles, as they will be very tense from the weighttraing workout.

Take a walk in the park

workout-relax-in-park

In the past I would go to Work/ University and then workout in the evening. This would be the same for all three-workout days in the week and at weekends I would do the social thing or some other spontaneous activity. So I was a part of the uncontrollable fast paced life.

But today things are a bit different. I now make it compulsory to take REAL time out on certain days, especially after an intense workout. Taking a walk in the park is something I do often, and I find that it fully relaxes me. Sometimes I add music to the mix, as music can be great for relaxing the mind. The bonus for me is that when you listen to music, (what ever it is you listen to) and you hear the same songs months or years later, it brings back memories to a time when you were in a good state of mind.

What music to listen to?

Everyone’s taste is different, but you will want to stay away from the gym music (Rock, Hip-hop), and put on some thing relaxing to your ears.

  • Easy going
  • Classic
  • Chill out CD’s

chill-out-gym music
Or if you don’t like music for whatever reason, you could always throw on some ambient sounds (ambience) from your iphone/ ipod app (if you own one).

In addition to these, make sure you are eating your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, spinach, milk, protein supplements (if you use them) and others after your workouts. These are great foods for helping to repair muscle and will help reduce tension.

The key thing to take away from this, whatever the activity is, is that you should make it compulsory that you take REAL time out. I know we are all fitness fanatics and gym brutes and only want to achieve results with the utmost passion, but implementing the above in which ever way you do it will help you perform better, be great for your mental state and more importantly, build muscle.

What activities do you do on your days off from the gym?

See you in the comments.

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