Fitness

Rest and recovery

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We talk a lot in fitness about rest days, or recovery stages. If you’ve trained hard for an extensive period of time, you are encouraged to taper or rest so your body can increase its capacity.

Image shows a stripy cat asleep on a bed with white covers. Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

I like how fitness programs alternate days for working different parts of the body and I really like how recovery is not only supported by rest, but also by a change in action (or inaction, if you refer).

Perhaps it’s because I am a post-menopausal woman, and my sleep rhythms are all disturbed (hello 3 am wake-up call) but I have now embraced active rest, or napping as people often call it, as a useful and restorative part of my daily life.

SamB turned me on to the Nap Ministry, founded by Tricia Hersey, who believes strongly, fiercely, that napping is more than a means to catch up on sleep, it’s a form of resistance.

We need to rest, and not by passively catching a few winks on the train ride home, but by actively choosing to hit the pause button on our day. In the same way I schedule my training sessions in my weekly calendar, I have now added a 20-minute power nap. I’ve found it better than meditation as a means of recharging my brain cells.

Hersey writes: “Rest must be central to our reimagining of everything in our daily existence, including our work.” If we can take a coffee break or lunch break, why not a nap break?

So how about it: can you find a 20-minute window in your day to choose rest? What might be keeping you from napping? What do you like best about napping? Let us know in the comments.

MarthaFitat55 is a nap convert and considers it an integral part of her fitness routine.

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