How To Take A Rest Day (Even If You Can’t Stop Moving)
The challenge with this is that for some of us, these necessary practices can seem somewhat out of reach. If you’re a pole instructor or studio owner, being able to take a full rest day might seem impossible, depending on your class schedule, your own workouts, and the needs of your studio.
Additionally, for some exercisers, taking a day off feels harder than working out regularly. Once the habit becomes ingrained, these individuals might feel like it’s easier to just keep going and keep up the work rather than risk losing the momentum they’ve gained through the routine.
Regardless of your situation, finding a way to nurture your body with good rest and fitness recovery habits can make a huge difference in your performance, results, and how you feel during exercise. If it seems like a full rest day isn’t in the cards right now, considering trying out some of the following recovery methods. Showing your body some love with these strategies is sure to improve your pole performance.
Even if you can’t take a day off, you can ensure that you commit to taking care of your body and replenishing your energy stores after your workout. These basic practices (which we’ve all heard we should do a thousand times) really make a difference. Make sure you refuel after your class and sip water through your workouts. This allows your body to get adequate nutrition and rebuild energy stores.
Additionally, nothing beats a good night’s sleep. Make that a priority, especially when exercising regularly or when juggling a busy class schedule as an instructor. Sleep affects everything–including your fitness performance. Your body needs that time to recover and rebuild, and if you can’t take a full rest day, dedicating yourself to a full night’s sleep is the next best thing. Practice good sleep hygiene and commit to making your bedtime a priority.
Take Down the Intensity
If you’re an instructor—or you just love to pole and find yourself doing so very frequently—this repetitive exercise can start to take a toll on your body. When possible, make sure that you sometimes change up your workout to something lower impact that still lets your body move. Consider a deep flexibility session, allowing your muscles to loosen up and stretch out. Flexibility plays a big role in many pole moves, so taking time to nurture that part of your workout is important. Or make it a floor play day instead, focusing on fluid floor movements and combinations that don’t necessarily require as much strength work as a day of pole training might.
Whatever you choose, remember that taking the time for recovery from your regular pole practice generally helps you come back even stronger, so make those rest days a priority.
We’ve previously discussed how body work can help prevent instructor burnout, but the benefits go beyond that too. Taking care of your body through massage (which has numerous benefits in fitness), foam rolling, or even use of an acupressure mat can help prevent muscle soreness, improve recovery speed, and assist with relaxation (which can also make it even easier to commit to that great night’s sleep). Find a way to fit these practices—or other body work you love—into your weekly routine.
Make It Happen
It’s easy to put rest and recovery time on the back burner, or to treat is as an afterthought. Schedule it onto your calendar and make it an important part of your training plan. You’ll feel the benefits–and those benefits will show.