Sleep Yoga

Ten Productive Things to Do on a Rest Day

Today’s post is coming to you from the beautiful Bay Area, where I’m spending a few days with my family before meeting up with some girl friends for a ladies weekend. Yesterday was all about parental bonding, and today it’s all about the siblings. I can’t wait to see both my sister and my brother today!

 

There’s a lot going on today, but there’s one thing that’s purposefully not happening. A workout.

 

Rest Days

Rest days are insanely important. They help prevent overuse injuries and mental burnout. Rest days, like when you’re sleeping, are the time when your muscles get to rebuild and grow stronger. The inflammation that naturally occurs during your workout has a chance to ease and subside on a rest day. If you continuously workout without giving your body a chance to heal, you’re at a greater risk of injury due to altered flexibility which leads to posture and muscle compensations.

The number of rest days that are needed depends on the person. Listen to your body! You’re only hurting yourself by overworking your muscles.

With all of that said, you certainly don’t have to spend your entire rest day camped out on the couch to reap the benefits. Here are some ideas of things to do on your next rest day.

 

10 Productive Things to do on a rest day via amym4gic.com

1. Take a walk – Rather than letting your legs stiffen up by sitting all day, shake them out with some light cardio by taking a walk, and enjoy the fresh air while you’re at it.

2. Take a yoga class – This is a favorite of mine, especially after a day of running or spinning. I always feel great after a yoga class.

3. Meditate – Meditation has been shown to have countless positive effects on the body and the mind. (Here are four free apps to help get you started.)

4. Do laundry – If you’re working out often enough to be taking rest days, you’re probably accumulating quite a pile of dirty workout clothes. Just saying.

5. Stretch – It’s a good idea to stretch every day that you workout, but it’s worth investing a little extra time to limber up and breathe it out at least once a week. Tara Stiles has some good stretching YouTube videos.

6. Foam roll – This is another one that I recommend doing on a daily basis, but an extra 20 minutes with your foam roller a couple times a week will do quite a lot in the way of reducing muscle soreness.

7. Clean your yoga mat – Seriously, take a look at it. It’s probably overdue.

8. Watch a nutrition documentary – Since you’ve already decided to honor your body with a rest day, why not honor your brain with some health knowledge at the same time. (Check out one of my faves here.)

9. Meal plan or prep for the week – People who meal plan spend less on groceries and eat healthier than those who don’t. Source: science. (Here’s my complete guide to meal planning.)

10. Plan out your next four workouts – I refuse to step foot in a gym without a game plan in mind (and also written down). It’s too easy to lose steam and motivation while roaming aimlessly from machine to machine with no set plan. But if I know exactly what I’m doing and in what order, I can zone out and focus on getting it done.

 

Question: What’s your favorite way to spend a rest day?

rest day #fridayfavorites

My Favorite Nutrition Documentaries (And Where You Can Watch Them)

Hi guys! How are you?

I’m just getting back from a yoga class, so I’m feeling pretty zen at the moment. I’ve got a lunch date planned with Andrew in a few, so I’m just popping in to share some of my favorite documentaries. Yay education!

I find that most people either love documentaries or hate them. I happen to love them, and when I’m in charge of the remote, it’s usually the category I scroll through first. So considering my unwavering love of all things nutrition, it should come as no surprise that documentaries focusing on nutrition would be at the very top of my list.

I’ve put together a list of my top seven favorite health/food/nutrition/wellness documentaries. As we all know, some of the best television programming doesn’t even air on television these days (Hi, Hulu, Netflix, and HBO GO), so I thought I’d give you a little help finding the documentaries on the list, as well.

I’m always on the lookout for new documentaries (nutrition-related or not) to check out, so please do share any of your favorites that I’ve missed in the comments.

 

7 Best Health & Wellness Documentaries via amym4gic.com

 

In no particular order:

 

1. Origins (2014)

http://origins.well.org/

This is my current favorite of all the documentaries on this list because not only does it feature interviews with some of my favorite experts, but it touches on both fitness and nutrition, as well as the planet we live on. This doc packs in so much valuable information, you may need to watch it twice.

Where to watch: You can watch Origins online, for free (just provide your email address) right here.

 

2. Fed Up (2014)

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/grocers-bite-back-at-fed-up-documentary-050814.html

The main message of this film is that what you eat can either heal you or kill you. I love that this documentary really focuses on sugar and the problems associated with a high-sugar diet.

Where to watch: Unfortunately, this one isn’t available for free, but if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can stream it here for just $3.99. You can also buy the DVD for under $10. Between you and me, the full length video may also currently be up on YouTube.

 

3. Forks Over Knives (2011)

http://programs.naturalnews.com/Forks_Over_Knives__NN.htm

This one is interesting because it was one of the first documentaries to explore the possibility of reversing diseases like cancer simply by adopting a plant-based, whole foods diet. Food is medicine.

Where to watch: I found a streaming version of Forks Over Knives here. You can also find it on iTunes or Amazon for $3.99.

 

4. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2010)

fat-sick-and-nearly-dead

This documentary follows Joe Cross as he drives across the country drinking only fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days in an effort to lose weight. Spoiler alert: it works really well. This is the documentary that finally make things click for my parents.

Where to watch: Yes! Another documentary that you can watch online for free, right here.

 

5. Food Inc. (2008)

http://www.foodincmovie.co.uk/

Curious to see what your favorite processed foods go through before they end up on the shelves of the grocery store? Don’t be, it’s terrifying.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime members can watch online for free here. Non-Prime members might be able to find it on YouTube, but you didn’t hear that from me.

 

6. Hungry for Change (2012)

http://so-hungry-for-change.tumblr.com/

Hungry for Change sheds light on government agencies like the FDA, as well as the dangerous realities of sugar in the diet. Prepared to get riled up by this one.

Where to watch: Check this one out for free on Hulu, here. Score.

 

7. Eat: The Story of Food (2014)

http://www.thedailymeal.com/news/entertain/national-geographic-launches-eat-story-food-documentary-series/111914

Eat: The Story of Food was a six-episode mini series that aired over the course of three nights on National Geographic Channel, so you know it’s visually stunning. I’d argue that this one was more entertainment than education, but it provided a fair share of food history and was really fun to watch.

Where to watch: Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this one online for free, but you can check your local listings for the next airing on NGC or watch it on Amazon for a measly $2.99

 

Amy