Exercise is great, but like everything else in life, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. If you are serious about making progress on your body composition, you have to let your body heal and recover from all the hard work you put in. While some people honor and love their rest days, others sometimes think if they can just squeeze in one more workout a week that it will make all the difference.
Now that we are getting into the countdown months before the new year, more than ever we are working hard to meet our goals for the holiday season! Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are burning ourselves out until it is too late and instead of going to that spin class, we are halfway through a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and that is only after eating an entire medium Domino’s pizza. (been there!) I do not want you to get to this point, so I have put together a little list for you of some signs that it might be time for you to take a rest day (or days) from your routine.
- You are dreading an exercise class you usually love. Are you usually jumping out of bed to get to your TRX class, but this week are hitting snooze and finding reasons not to go? This could be a sign that your body needs to take a break. We all go through times of not having the motivation to work out, but if it is generally something that you enjoy that all of a sudden you don’t want to have any part of, this is usually a sign that your body is overworked and in need of a break. Take a break from this class and reevaluate – if you are still not feeling it, maybe it is time to mix it up and try a new class, or if you have rested up, go in and kill that workout as usual.
- You aren’t through the warm-up and you are already tired. A big sign that it is time for a rest day is when your body is physically too tired to do the workout. A warm-up is designed to get you ready for a workout, so if you are already fatigued from warming up, it might be a sign that you do not have the energy you need to get through your workout. Take a break, get some rest and let your body recover properly so that your intensity level can recover and you’ll get the full benefit of your workout.
- You are always sore. DOMS is very real, I have been through leg days where my legs randomly buckle and I can barely sit down for 2 or 3 days after my workout! Then by day 4, you are feeling good and ready to work those legs again. Soreness from a workout should peak at 24-72 hours after a workout, so if it is Friday night, and you are still unbelievably sore from Monday morning, this means you are not recovering properly and should take it easy for a few days.
- You are always tired/moody/anxious. Getting adequate sleep is essential no matter if your goals are to lose weight, to get stronger, to build muscle mass or anything in between. If you are tired, chances are during the day you are going to be moody. You may also feel anxious throughout the day and have big mood swings for no apparent reason. If you are tired this can also throw off your coordination, and focus making your performance suffer and not working out to your full potential.
- Your scale isn’t moving anymore. You are eating clean, staying within your calorie deficit, you are hitting your 10,000 steps per day, and exercising 4-5 days a week and at first, your progress was going along great, but you have now seen no progress for weeks. Sound familiar? This could be a sign that you need to take a break to rest and recover. Take a day and do some meditation, go for a casual paced walk, read a book, drink some green tea and enjoy a day off. Chances are letting your body rest and repair will give your metabolism the boost it needs to get you over that plateau.
We all know that good things take time, this includes building the body you want. I know that it seems logical that the more you work out, and the less you eat the faster you will see results, but this is not the way our body’s work. The effort you are putting in at the gym is only a tiny part of the puzzle. Listen to your body, and respect it when it comes to rest days. Take them, enjoy them, and use it to fuel your next workout and crush it!
Do you have any particular tell signs that it is time for a rest day or that it is time to change up your workout routine? Comment below I would love to hear from you!
Until next time – be good to your body, your body is good to you. Take care lovelies.