The Importance of Taking a Rest Day

Sunday may be the Sabbath, but it’s not always a day of rest for most people. Exercise is awesome and an essential part of life, but giving your body a break is just as important.

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First, let me apologize for forgetting to post last Sunday. I actually had this post almost totally ready but life got in the way and I forgot to publish. So my bad! It won’t happen again y’all!

Ok, back to the rest day. There are a couple of types of rest days; active rest and total/complete rest days. Figuring out which type you need is not super difficult.

Active rest days are lighter exercise days that help the recovery process. For me that usually means swimming or a yoga class or if I am really tired, a walk.

Active rest days are a great way to break up your daily routine and still get a decent workout in. I can’t run everyday because my knees and shins need a break. So active rest days are a perfect way to mix it up for my muscles and joints.

Complete or total resting days are when you do just that. Rest. Take the day off. Your body will be okay for one day. Read a book, watch a movie, do something that you enjoy doing that doesn’t involve working up a sweat.

(Get your minds out of the gutter! You know what I mean)!

According to Runner’s World, there are obvious signs that your body gives you when you need a rest day. For the complete list, go here. Here are just a few:

– Crankiness. Your mood is a spot on indicator of your stress level, so if you’re feeling stressed out, tired and/or cranky, it could be a sign you’re pushing yourself too hard and need a break.

– PMS or illness. If it’s that time of month, working out sucks that much worse. While exercise can help with mood and cramps, sometimes us ladies just need some froyo and a nap. Same goes for when you’re sick. Exercise is not always the cure.

– Injury. This one is super important! If you feel pain when you are exercising, then STOP. You can always make modifications to your workout but ignoring pain doesn’t make it go away.

I know from personal experience since I just spent the past week nursing a lower back injury. Better to rest for a day just in case than to be out for longer because you kept going when you shouldn’t have.

Bottom line, listen to your body. Take it easy. Just like mental health days, sometimes we just need a break from the grind. Let me know how you spend your rest days in the comments below!

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