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We have all been told and made to believe that the more you workout the better results you will get, right? What if I told you that you need to rest and recover as much as you workout to optimize your training, nutrition, and therefore your results…

Working Out vs. Working In

Exercise of any type or duration requires you to spend energy outside of your body. It is a physical stressor that activates your sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our “fight or flight” response.

Paul Chek, founder of the C.H.E.K Institute promotes a concept of working in vs. working out. I love this!!! Working In supports organ and glandular function, cultivates energy in the body, makes our bodies more efficient, and resets natural biological rhythms. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the side of our nervous system responsible for “rest and digest.” Working In creates energy in our body versus working out which spends that energy.

We spend much of our day in “fight or flight” mode and not enough time in “rest and digest.” Exercising or working out intensely without resting correctly at home and “working in” can make us more energy depleted and are more susceptible to infections & injury.

The key is to balance working out with working in. Working In includes but is not limited to…

  • Leisure Walking
  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Core work
  • “Play”

Working In also includes adequate restful sleep (7-9 hours) and providing your body with nutrient dense foods to build it back up. Working In includes activities or movement that you do not have to recover from.

You don’t get stronger from the act of lifting weights; you get stronger by recovering from the act of lifting weights.

Our bodies are not machines that can perform at the same intensity and efficiency for years at a time. Not taking a break from your exercise program can be counterproductive to achieving your goals. Exercise induced muscle damage needs healing time. If your muscles are not given the proper time to heal you miss the benefits of muscle adaptation, and the increases in strength and fitness.

In addition, it’s important to note that our muscles can recover much quicker than our cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and joints. They run on a different time frame. Your joints will THANK YOU for a taking a break and doing a bit of working in.

As the weather gets nicer, how can you spend some time working in? A walk in nature or in the retiro or similar park each day is a great way to calm the body and the mind as well as move. For me I do my daily 30min Yoga/stretches which not only makes me more flexible for my triathlon races but gives me some quality David time. Whatever it is, the best way to move closer to your health and fitness goals is to spend time each day or multiple times per week working in.