The other day, after working out 3 days in a row (2 running, 1 CrossFit), I woke up tired. And I did not want to get out of bed. (some of that may or may not have had to do with the 2 sweet snuggly kitties purring around my chest and head.) But, I had a workout planned! I even wrote it down on my white board in my garage. I had to get up and get out there.
But my body was so tired, my knee ached a little, and my eyelids were soooo heavy and I went back to sleep. I’ll just take today as a rest day, I thought.
When I finally woke back up, I felt bad. Definitely not because I got more sleep because that part was great, but because I didn’t get up to work out. I was lazy. I should have gotten up. I copped out.
Rest days are necessary. Your body actually needs the rest.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking about those days where you just don’t want to get up early or go to the gym after work or you think, “I should probably go to the gym/do the workout/go for a run but I just don’t want to because (I have a hangnail, I want wine, it’s my coworker’s husband’s sister’s boyfriend’s mother’s birthday/insert your excuse here).” On those days, you need to get up and go. Trust me, you’ll feel better after you do.
I’m talking about those days when your body is exhausted and sore and you’re feeling worn down. Those are the days when you need to give your body a break, give it a chance to recuperate, give it a chance to do its magic and reconstruct those muscles so you’re stronger and faster.
Did you know that your body takes care of you like that? Pretty amazing, isn’t it? That’s why you have to listen to it – you need to respect it. Did you know that when you’re exercising, you’re basically creating microtears in your muscles? If you continue to work out and push hard without taking a day (or two) off, your body doesn’t have time to repair those tears and get stronger and you could cause a whole host of other issues. Serious issues. Give your body the break it needs!Give your body the rest it needs! #sweatpink #fitfluential #iamempowered Click To Tweet
Now, I don’t know about you but I’m not one of those people who can work out 5-6 days in a row. I honestly don’t know how those people do it.
The most I can do is 4 days but I pretty much default to 3 days in a row (especially when we’re talking CrossFit workouts), and then I need to take a rest day. It’s just better for me. I’m healthier when I stick to that schedule. Of course, my planned rest days were always when my favorite lift was programmed at the gym and that always made it even harder to stay at home! Gah, why did it always have to be that way!?!
But, even with running, when I was training for marathons, I took rest days. I never ran more than 3 days in a row. That allowed my body to recuperate from those tough speedwork or tempo sessions. I’m not saying that you should follow that same schedule but you should definitely schedule days off the same way you schedule your workouts.Schedule your rest days just like you schedule your workouts. #sweatpink #iamempowered #fitfluential Click To Tweet
And, in case I haven’t convinced you yet, here are a few other reasons you should take a rest day:
And you know what? NONE of those reasons is a cop out. Zero.