Rest, it’s so nice, right?
We think so. We think it’s so important that it’s one of the pillars of health.
What do I mean by a pillar of health?
Well it’s one of the pillars that supports the whole, and the whole being of you-your whole being.
We’ll talk about what we, Redefine Strength and Fitness, feel the other pillars of health are in other posts, but for today I will focus on just one.
It’s one that I think is often missed in today’s world and especially in US culture: and that is Rest.
And I mean true rest and recovery. Not just sitting and scrolling through Instagram. But real rest were you connect with yourself, or nature, your pet(s), your plants or your loved ones, sans distractions.
Rest is more than just a nap, but naps are good.
Rest could be a walk in nature connecting with the forest and how that experience makes you feel. Rest could be an early morning or evening visit on the beach listening to the waves. Rest could be taking a few minutes to meditate to some music or guided via an app.
Rest could also be doing something you really like that is soothing. A bath. Knitting. Snuggling with your pet(s). Singing to your plants. Rest and recovery can also be a vacation, be it a few days or a week or so.
Whatever it is though, true rest comes from setting aside digital and screen distractions. Our brains get really stimulated from the blue light from our screens that it makes resting not really happen. So as hard as it may seem, set the phone aside and enjoy some down time.
Rest isn’t about being what society might deem as lazy or avoiding work, workouts or the other things that need to get done. Rest is necessary for your health and for being at your best when you are working, working out or taking care of your to-do list.
When we look at your overall health and well-being, rest has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, and lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. Additionally your susceptibility to illness is lowered and sleep disruptions and other sleeping issues improve when we take time to rest and recovery from the stresses of life. 
Rest and recovery in terms of your overall fitness is super important for the muscles to have time to recover from the challenges of your workout. Working out creates stress on your muscles which not only depletes the energy stored in the muscles (the fuel), and also creates some physical damage to the muscles themselves (don’t worry this is how they naturally get stronger and more efficient). So rest is where muscles refuel and repair and you get to come back even stronger next time!  
In terms of the mental stress and fatigue you [may] feel, rest and recovery is also super important and sadly often overlooked, as a way to lighten that load. On top of feeling drained, this mental fatigue can become physical sensations if the mental stress is prolonged. 
When you take some time for rest and recovery from any mental stress or fatigue you’re feeling, this rest improves your mood, your mind becomes clearer, feeling of depression improve and your overall well-being improves.
Rest is also an act of resistance because in today’s day and age, especially here in the US, you’re supposed to be productive all the time. And that’s really not sustainable. So if resistance is your thing, rest away!!!
How to add rest to your day
As mentioned above you can find rest in the moments you sing to yourself or your plants, walk in nature or sit and meditate.
But how are you to add rest if you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or just really behind?
Mostly it starts with some planning and scheduling, which I know can feel like yet another thing to add to the list, but in the long run really you’ll get more stuff done-if that’s important to you. 
Take a look at your calendar and schedule some time to take mini breaks and rest moments random here or there and throughout the week. This could be for 2-5 minutes between appointments or before or after a lunch break. You can decide how long you want to rest for and how often throughout the day. Maybe you have a good 30 minutes and you can sit in a park and read a book or stare up at the clouds and listen to some soothing sounds from your audio library.
Set an alarm to go off and go to a designated spot to enjoy some rest and recovery moments. This might mean you get up away from your computer and do some breathing exercises in a different chair in another room. You walk, play or snuggle with your pet or maybe your take 10 minutes and listen to a guided meditation.
What really matters is you choose what feels best for you and you give that gift to yourself.
So when it comes to rest and recovery they’re not a luxury or an indulgence. They’re absolutely critical to your well-being.
Rest is more than just taking a vacation once or twice a year. It’s finding some time daily to recharge your wellness battery for impoved living.
What are you doing that’s restful? Share with us in the comments. Your comments may spark an idea in someone else and help them find ways to bring more rest into their days.
Be Well, Theresa