Rest and Relaxation Time

23 Sep
How you feel on rest day

How you feel on rest day

Beast mode is no joke. I’ve been in beast mode for three weeks (and lost eight pounds in the process—yay!). I let things get out of hand over the winter, spent the spring enjoying the anniversary of my birth and the summer—well, I don’t have any excuse for the summer.

However, I’m making up for it now. I have sweat more in the past few weeks than I have in ages. I’m working out five to six days a week for about an hour a day. And on the seventh day, I’m resting.

I’ve gotten to the point now where I look forward to my rest days more than anything else. Rest days are just as important as workout days. They are the days your body recovers from the punishment you are putting it through. Think of it this way: you don’t work seven days a week, do you? If you do, we have other things to discuss.

One of the benefits of rest days is you are being proactive in preventing injury. I’ve discussed before how I strained my IT band by running so much. Before my injury, I was running maybe five days a week. I’ve now cut down to two to three. I spread out the days between runs to give my knee the chance to recuperate, but I’ve still got a couple of other days I need to get my sweat on. So I use those days to challenge myself with a different form of exercise, be it spin class or even the elliptical machine. Over the past few weeks, my knee hasn’t hurt me once. I credit that to rest days.

When I take a rest day, I do nothing. Last week, I took my first break in six days. Because I had been working out so much, I had completely neglected my apartment, as I am wont to do. I had plans to use my day off sweeping, mopping, putting up clothes, buying groceries, spending time with my dog, etc. The only thing I did was spend time with my dog—and we slept and binge-watched Netflix.

Rest days remind to you to stop and smell the roses. You’ve done good things; you should take time to appreciate them. You’re not as winded when you take the stairs. That reheated black bean and rice recipe you tried tastes pretty good. And better yet, you don’t have to work out today. For 24 hours you can exist in chill mode with no worries. Doesn’t that sound nice?

I’m not just touting this because I’m a self-confessed bum who’d rather clear out her DVR. The American College of Sports Medicine agrees with me.

Rest is a critical component to any good workout routine and time spent allowing the body to recover is a great way to prevent injuries. A rest day must occur at least one to two times per week. Even small breaks during a workout are sometimes required to get the most out of the workout and prevent injuries.

You’ll do more good than harm to put the weights down for one day and rest. Go ahead, take a nap. Go to a movie. See the friends you’ve been neglecting while you tackle the beast. That’ll do you some good to.

What do you like to do on your rest days? What do you enjoy most about them?

gif courtesy of Tumblr

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One Response to “Rest and Relaxation Time”

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  1. Work Out Burn Out | I'm Skinny, Now What? - October 29, 2014

    […] Take advantage of rest days. Remember: Rest days are your friends. They are the days your body looks forward to. You’ve been working so hard. Your limbs ache in […]

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