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A Not-So-Typical Workout Wednesday

In honor of this week’s Workout Wednesday, I’ll be….resting.

Why? Because despite all my efforts to take extra care of myself these past couple of weeks filled with travel, extra long  hours at the office and virtually zero days off, my body had enough and I came down with a cold. Now that I think about it, all the Yankees late-night playoff games probably served as the final straw in breaking down my immune system.

While my symptoms are mainly above the neck and I did get some cardio in after work on Monday, I could feel my body struggling even on the lower settings on the elliptical. When I finally got home, I was more tired than ever. So, it’s time for me to take a bit of my own advice and take it easy for a day or two. I’d rather be out of the game for a couple of days than risk running myself down even more and ending up with some sort of upper respiratory infection and then being sidelined for even longer.

Whether or not you’re feeling under the weather, rest is a crucial component to anyone’s health and fitness routine. If you don’t allow your body to rest and recover, you’re simply putting yourself at risk for overtraining. The following is a list of some of the symptoms of overtraining:

  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Amenorrhea (when a woman stops getting her monthly period)
  • Overuse or stress-related injuries (e.g. stress fractures, tennis elbow and runner’s knee)
  • Increased resting heart rate
  • Slower recovery of heart rate
  • Decrease in strength performance
  • Constant muscle pain or soreness when moving, bordering on pain

Avoiding these symptoms doesn’t have to be difficult. Just give yourself a break now and then! A rest day allows for muscular repair and recovery of the central nervous system. For those who can’t imagine even one day without activity, you can still take a leisurely walk or bike ride, or maybe you can substitute that strength or cardio class with an extra-long stretch session.

On the other hand, if you want to enjoy a rest day curled up on the couch in your kick-around clothes reading a good book or catching up with your DVR, go for it! Remember, taking a rest day doesn’t mean you’re being lazy. It only means you’re giving your body the strength to get back in the game so you can have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Even the Mighty Fall

The Game Must Go On!

Anyone who’s known me for a long time will tell you along with health and fitness, one of my biggest passions is following the New York Yankees. My dad’s been taking me to games since I was six-years-old, and I’m very lucky to have witnessed some of baseball’s most memorable moments while cheering from my seat at Yankee Stadium. When the Yankees make it to the postseason, it makes October that much more fun. That includes the nail-biting moments and sleep-deprived nights.

Game one of the American League Championship Series was one of the toughest postseason nights I can remember. During the four hours and 54 minutes of play, I watched my beloved Bronx Bombers come back from a 4-0 deficit by tying it up in the 9th inning, only to fall apart and lose 6-4 in the 12th. However, the biggest loss wasn’t the one reflected on the score board. It happened when Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter went down lunging for an infield hit – and stayed down. The collective gasp of the crowd sent shivers down my spine.

Jeter always gets up. I remember the game at the old Yankee Stadium when he dove into the seats to catch a foul ball and returned to the field with a bloodied face. He’s also known for pushing through the pain and playing with injuries ranging from bone bruises to tweaked muscles. Yet, here he was down in the 12th, and he couldn’t stand up. When I saw he couldn’t even put weight on his left leg as manager Joe Girardi and athletic trainer Steve Donohue helped him hop off the field, I knew it was bad. Sure enough, the grim news soon broke that Jeter had fractured his ankle. He’s done for the postseason and will spend at least the next three months healing.

Call me crazy, but while Yankees fans continue to digest the bad news, there’s also something I know for certain: Jeter will be back. This wasn’t a career-ending moment. It was a setback, but being the amazing athlete and gifted baseball player that he is, I have no doubt he’ll come back swinging, literally. Okay, I realize making millions of dollars is a pretty big incentive to get back in the game, but Jeter also possesses a determination and drive that has gotten him where he is, and it’s what will get him back in the game.

We may not be big-time sports stars, but each of us possesses the same power within. We just need to remember to harness it when the unexpected happens. Whether it’s an injury that sidelines your fitness goals or a painful moment in your personal life that throws your best-laid plans out the window, it’s important to accept the event has happened; work through the emotions that follow; allow yourself to heal and never lose sight of the fact that there will be better days ahead. In other words, the game must go on.

I’ll be cheering on my Yankees for the remainder of the postseason and following updates on Jeter’s recovery when it’s over. During that time, I have no doubt there will be unexpected challenges that pop up in my own life. The good news is I also know I have the power to rely on my inner strength to push toward the happier days filled with new opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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