so you need a rest day

May 23, 2014 in Blog, Body, Over-Exercise, Workout by lindsaymwright

I’m going to make this short and sweet because A) it’s Friday and who wants to read a long blog post on Friday, B) I have no time to write as I’ve AGAIN backed myself into a corner of being overbooked, and C) what I have to say today *should* be common knowledge already.

*Except that it isn’t.

I simply must speak up about something I see so prevalent around the healthy living blogging community, as well as at my gym. WE’RE NEGLECTING OUR BODIES BY OVERWORKING THEM. And sadly, we do so in the name of “healthy living”, broadcasting our over-exercise on Instagram and our blogs. As someone who has suffered from years of over-exercising and who is just now understanding the impact of what that’s done to my body, I can’t keep quiet any longer.

Listen.

If you’re not taking a SOLID rest day** at least once per week, you’re hurting your body.

**I don’t mean an “active rest” day where you cross train and go hiking or walking instead of what you normally do. A rest day is one in which we put little to no stress on our central nervous systems. We REST.

Neglecting to take regular, habitual rest days will likely lead to injury, a feeling of being “burned out”, and can hinder performance. After properly resting, our bodies are better able to perform athletically and think critically – so in essence, doing nothing will help you be able to DO better!

I believe that TWO THINGS get in the way of us treating our bodies to the rest day(s) that they deserve.

1) We connect EATING with EXERCISING – two things that should be kept separate (aside from fueling purposes). We count the calories we burn while working out and connect that to our intake of food later in the day. How many times have you rationalized eating a donut just because you ran that day? What if you COULDN’T run anymore (or, as I’m trying to show in this post, you had to take a few rest days)? Would your eating habits change?

2) We COMPARE and CONTRAST. “I was going to take a rest day until I saw so-and-so’s post on Instagram.” “She’s working out harder than me!” “She doesn’t feel good but she’s “sweating out” a cold. I should do that!” <-This is a post for an entirely different day, but infuriates me nonetheless. There is no such thing as “sweating out” an illness – bobbycosh! You should be resting your CNS – trust me, you’ll heal much quicker through REST!

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Next time you feel burnt out or you just want to take day off from exercising, DO IT! Realize that this isn’t a free pass for you to sit on your butt (something that is highly unlikely for most of the audience I’m speaking too), but rather a plea for us all to start honoring our bodies (mind, muscle, bone) that do so much for us. You can honor through exercise and you can honor through rest. Both are equally important.

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QUESTION: How often do you take rest days? <-I completely rest every Sunday. Do you struggle with over-exercising? Under-exercising?

splendid…lindsay

Resources you might find interesting:

What IS over-exercising?

REST: Ways to Improve Performance