Rest Day… But Do I Have To??
I’ve been working out for approximately eleven years now!! Pretty awesome and time certainly does fly! Throughout these years, I’ve always been consistent. However, at times, I am certainly more motivated than others. During these times, I generally like to “go with it,” and work out like a crazy lady…every single day…sometimes twice a day! I figure I’m motivated right NOW, so right NOW, I’m going to work out because it’s what feels right. Any logical person knows though, that this behavior ultimately leads to burnout. I’ve been fortunate enough that this has not occurred. I snap out of it, take mental note of my crazy habits, take a step back, and in walks the Rest Day. Love it or hate it—the Rest Day is valuable and should be included in any fitness regimen. Here’s why…
1. Recovery and Restoration– For starters, Rest Days assist in muscle recovery and really do feel great! I know you will come to LOVE your Rest Days if you could only see how important they are. Essentially, all workouts put your muscles in a very stressful situation in order to strengthen them. Without a chance to breathe or recover, muscles can become so stressed that injury ensues. If bodily harm occurs, your Rest DAY may become a Rest WEEK, MONTH, or YEAR!! Stay out of that messy situation!
2. Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder– Recently, someone shared their current situation, “I started running and I loved it, but as of late, I find myself forcing myself out the door.” I came to learn that this individual was attempting to run every single day! Not only is this not realistic in most situations, but of course motivation will lessen! If I offered you ice cream every single day of your life, I bet eventually, there would come a day when you got so tired of it! Variety really IS the spice of life and adding in a Rest Day here and there (ideally once a week) will keep things interesting. Rest Days will have you longing for that next chance to get out there and perform whichever workout it is that you are presently making your focus.
3. Be Balanced and Have Some Fun 🙂 – From experience, I can tell you that my months of working out every single day almost always come to an end when I realize there is something in my life that seriously needs attention. I tend to neglect important tasks and self-care when going through these crazy workout phases. Obviously, this is not good at all! At the moment, I’m in a really good place where Rest Days equate with “me time” (nails, hair, shopping, etc.), running errands that make me feel very satisfied once accomplished, and/or FUN!! Remember to have a social life!! You’ll really miss your friends if you become injured from skipping Rest Days and have neglected special relationships.
For some, Rests Days are such an ingrained part of their routine that this post may seem silly. Some may be thinking, “Take a Rest Day? Okay, sure!! You don’t have to twist my arm!” Yet for others, and you know who you are, Rest Days feel like the end of the world! I get it! I LOVE exercising! But I know you want to live a life without regret. If that 87th day of consistent running results in a pulled hamstring or something much worse, you may be sorry. And I want you happy, healthy, and fit! I think you do, too! 😉
May you live in harmonious health!