A Workout Break

Well since I’ve enhanced my home gym I have been working out pretty religiously four or five times a week. It became apparent recently that I needed a break from working out. I needed a break from exercising and a break from the routine.

My body was feeling a little sore which I usually see as a sign that I am working hard and improving, but there was something different about this soreness. The joints were hurting and my sleep was uncomfortable.

Now I love to exercise and I love to do it early in the morning when I don’t feel like I am bookending it into other activities. I love the sense of accomplishment early on in the day. I love not worrying about being interrupted. I love having my favorite music as my backdrop.

I’ve always found that my need for a break coincides with a spell of the blues or some slight depression. In the past I was able to make the connection, let up from exercise and more or less bounce back.

The important thing about taking time away from exercise may be to not feel guilty about it. Replace that time with guilt free rest, a longer meditation, reading more news or indulging in guilt free doing nothing much. Waste a bit of time if you must.

It’s also probably good to get a bit of activity in or just continue with your walks, your dog walks, catch up on weeding the garden and avoid too much of slouching on the sofa. You don’t want those aching muscles to start aching because you’ve been coiled up in some terrible posture binge-watching Drag Race for a week. You want to heal, not create more problems, after all that is why you are exercising!

This is something to keep in mind now, when our routines are a bit screwy. Be good to yourself and you will see the results. You won’t go to seed. You’ll actually bounce back even stronger. It is referred to as many things, a rest, periodization, a break.

Just make sure to listen to what your body is saying to you.

Published by: Andrew Binks

I am a writer living in rural Ontario, 2 hours east of Toronto. I was born and raised in Ottawa but spent the last 15 years in BC. Glad to be back. My first novel, The Summer Between, was published in 2009 by Nightwood Editions. My website is www.andrewbinks.ca My fiction and non-fiction have been published in Joyland, Galleon, Fugue, Prism International, Harrington Gay Men's Literary Quarterly (U.S.), Bent-magazine, The Globe and Mail, and Xtra, among others. I am a past honorable mention of the Writer's Union of Canada's short prose contest, Glimmertrain’s Family Matters contest, finalist in the Queen's University Alumni Review poetry contest, and This Magazine’s “Great Canadian Literary Hunt.” My poetry has also appeared in Quill's “Lust” issue and Velvet Avalanche Anthology. Harvard Square Editions will be publishing a chapter from one of my novels in their upcoming anthology "A Voice from the Planet," this fall. My satirical play, Reconciliation, about Native land claims, Japanese internment, and political corruption, was read this spring in Toronto as part of the Foundry play-reading series. My play Pink Blood received a public reading, from Screaming Weenie Productions in Vancouver this June. I spoke at the AWP conference in New York City in 2008 on the merits and challenges of multi-genre writing programs.

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