Should you take a fitness break?
Quotes featured in Stylist magazine- read the full article HERE
Once you’re into the swing of your workout routine, you can get to a point where you don’t want to take a “day off”. This could be through fear of stopping your flow and momentum. It could be due to the guilt trip you give yourself for having some down time. Whatever your reasons, at some point you have to let your hair down and take a fitness break. Getting good quality rest is so important. Not just for your body physically, but also for your mental state. This blog covers some common questions regarding your all-important R&R.
Why should I rest?
There are key benefits to taking rest from your workout routine. Your muscles get the important time they need to rest and recover from all the hard work you have been putting in. They will actually grow stronger as a result of a rest period. It is essential that you factor in enough rest time into your schedule.
A weeks’ reset can not only give your body a much-needed break, but it gives your mind a chance to rest as well. A good break should actually increase your motivation levels to get back to your training because you will feel refreshed and ready to go. Your mind is incredibly important, and it needs the rest just as much as your body. You’ll come back with more focus, possibly more ambition, and most probably some new goals you want to aim for.
How long should I rest for?
The “perfect” amount of rest time can depend on your body type, your age, your hormones, and various other factors. A week is a great mini-break without getting so relaxed you don’t want to get back to it. If you have always been an avid fitness person, you could probably take up to 6 weeks without your muscles suffering, this might be necessary, for example, if you incur an injury. If you’re still fairly new to your exercise routine you might find 2 weeks doable but that you “feel it” when you get back to exercising. You can take a few days here and there, however, everyone needs at least a week off in their schedule occasionally to really feel the benefits.
Enough daily rest is also extremely Important. Getting enough sleep, and enough time in your day to just “stop” is vital in keeping your body and mind healthy and able to work at optimum levels. It’s so easy to be “go, go, go” until we take an official holiday, but really, the balance in our lives every single day is so important.
Will I lose the willpower to exercise after taking a rest?
For many of us, the ideal week off might involve lazing by the pool sipping cocktails. Whilst the aim is that we come back feeling rejuvenated, if you don’t particularly enjoy the exercise routine you usually do, you may find that starting up again after this is just really tough. This is why it’s so important to try to find a form of exercise that you enjoy. After a week off, physically and mentally, you should come back feeling more energetic and stronger. Before you actually get into the training session you may feel a tad lethargic and still in holiday mode. However, don’t panic, once you get started, everything will kick into gear, and you’ll feel great.
Why don’t I want to rest?
Who cares if you put on a little weight on your break?! This is completely natural, and nothing to feel guilty about. An extra couple of pounds from a week of relaxation does not counteract all the good work you have put in. Being fit and healthy is so much more than your weight on the scales. Being healthy means getting enough rest time in your life. It’s all about balance. A week off is never going to decrease your fitness levels so that you would notice it (unless you’re taking a week off every other week!).
Best top tip?
It’s imperative you find a form of exercise you really enjoy, and that you exercise at a time of day that suits your body clock. Don’t be too tough on yourself, anything is better than nothing. Don’t feel like you’re failing if you’re doing things differently to other people. Take your time, do it your way, and feel proud of yourself for every step you take towards a healthier lifestyle.
Written by Becky Barrett.
Becky Barrett is an international talent manager and personal fitness coach with over 15 years’ professional experience and a 1st class Honours degree in Business & Law.
Driven by her unique values of compassion and a holistic approach to talent management, Becky has devised an innovative solution to take on the fitness industry with a brand-new personal fitness concept that aims to inspire and boost ‘new normal’ approaches to exercise routines.
Features include: Health & Wellbeing, Natural Health, Arden University, The Telegraph, BBC, Time & Leisure, Bdaily News, The Stage.