Do you ever wonder how to know when to take a break from exercise? I’m here to help you figure that out.
In our journey of enjoying a simple healthy lifestyle, we’ve already established the significance of exercise. I talk about that here. But like everything else, when done too much, exercise can become a curse instead of a blessing.
You have to know when to stop so that you body can take the rest it needs to repair itself before you begin exercising again.
I’m sure you’ve felt like the picture above at some point. I know I have. In fact, for the past two days I’ve been down with flu. When it started, before it manifested itself but I saw signs, I thought of continuing with my exercising.
But then I thought about what I’m writing about right now: the importance of giving your body the rest it needs. So I decided to skip my workouts for the rest of this week and resume next week Monday.
So how do you know when it’s time to stop and take a break?
I’ve been exercising for a few years now, long enough to identify the signs telling me that it might be time to put my routine aside and take a break. Let me share with you those signs:
- When you are trying to work out, but you feel tired even though you got enough sleep last night.
- When all of a sudden, the very workouts you’ve been enjoying feel like a drag.
- When you are preparing to exercise and you feel yourself dreading it.
- When you are exercising and all you can think about is your rest days ahead.
These are not the only signs, but I’ve felt these more than the other signs. When I do, I know it’s time to shelve my workouts and take a rest. And I always benefit from doing that because I always come back to my workouts with renewed enthusiasm.
There are many people who don’t believe in taking rest days. They feel like that one skipped workout is going to derail all the hard work they’ve been doing. They feel like taking some time off is a betrayal to their commitment toward exercising. Rest days are just a concept they do not understand or agree with.
I used to be that kind of person. But that was before I discovered this journey of pursuing a simple healthy lifestyle. I knew the importance of exercising in this journey. The most important thing I understood was that everything I did on my journey was going to be a life long commitment. I was going to be doing it for the rest of my life.
With that established, I also knew I was going to have to be smart in everything I did. If I were only exercising for the short term, for example: to get a bikini body for the coming summer, then maybe it would make sense to not take rest days off (it doesn’t make sense, actually). But my journey went beyond this summer to all the others for the rest of my life.
And I wasn’t just exercising to look good, I was exercising to feel good. That meant all seasons of the year, all year round. So then, I had to listen to what my body was telling me. Whenever it told me something, even though it went against everything I’d planned, I knew I had to listen to it. That included listening to it when it told me to take a break from exercising.
You should listen to your body too. You don’t want to be that person who dreads working out simply because you failed to listen when your body told you to stop.
You have to know that refusing to take a break so your body can rest can actually derail all the hard work you’ve been doing by tearing down your body and making it unfit to carry on more exercise.
So what do you do on your rest days?
Rest days don’t mean inactive days. I think people are scared of rest days because they think they have to be inactive. No. Rest days mean you retire from your usual workouts, but you remain active.
You can be active in other things other than your workouts. In fact, you should be active in other things besides your workouts.
- Continue with your chores and do some of them manually, like washing dishes and doing laundry
- Walk your kids to school
- Walk your dog
- Tend to your garden
- Walk to the mall
There are many more things you can do. In fact, these things on their own are sufficient to keep your body fit if you do them regularly. Say no to an inactive lifestyle so you don’t have to worry about taking rest days off your workout routine.
Rest days are not a curse, they are a blessing. Treat them as such and enjoy them when they come.
Remember to also get a lot of sleep. Sleep is important whether or not you are on your rest days.
Like I said, I’ve been down with flu, but I’m feeling like myself again today. But I’ve decided to take the rest of this week off my workouts. I’m continuing to remain active and I’m getting lots and lots of sleep.
The final word
A simple healthy lifestyle is not possible without exercise. But you have to approach exercise with a rational mind. You need a break from exercising now and then so your body can get some rest. You are not in a race, take things at your own pace. Listen to your body and know when to stop. Remember, your body will never lie to you.
Thank you for reading this post. I had a great time with it after being off the internet for two full days. Please let us know what you think of the post. Do you take rest days off your workouts or are you scared of taking them like many of us are? Let us know in the comments below.