Hello, friends! Merry Christmas Eve Eve! I can’t believe how fast this month has flown by, December is a crazy month for a lot of us- myself included.
Between two jobs, the gym, training, and normal adult responsibilities, it can be a lot to handle. What brought me to today’s topic is the fact that yesterday morning I “skipped” the gym. I have a weekly rest day planned into my routine and yesterday was not supposed to be it.
I don’t know, I woke up at my first alarm: 6:00 AM. Snooze. 6:30. Snooze. 7:00 – Okay, I’m up. I moved to the couch with my cup of coffee and just felt exhausted. It’s been 10 days since I have had a day off. Add that to the Holiday Stressors and I just felt worn out. So… instead of forcing myself into a lackluster upper body accessory day, I skipped…
And that’s okay. I am not going to beat myself up over it. Sometimes we have this mentality that more is always better and that is not true. Especially when it comes to training and life.
So, Day 23 of Blogmas is about the importance of rest and recovery and why it’s okay to let your mind and body rest and just chill.
Rest days, from the gym, are one of the most important aspects of a structured training routine. Exercise puts a lot of stress on your body such as your muscles, tendons, bones, and joints. If you don’t give your body time to rest/recover, it can lead to overuse, exhaustion, and injury. Then, if you injure yourself, it’ll take even longer for you to get back into your gym routine. Rest is crucial for you no matter what your goals are in the gym- cutting, gaining mass, building muscle, etc. If you want to build strength, endurance, or muscle, rest days are key. Working out creates little microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. Taking time off allows for those fibers to rebuild. This is why you never train a body part two days in a row. Those muscle fibers need time to repair so they can heal and grow. The amount of time that a person needs to “rest” varies based on the intensity of your workouts, the volume of your workouts, training experience, and your age. Taking time off from the gym will not hinder your progress or make you lose all your “gains”.
It is easy to think that you constantly have to be working out to reach your goals. Taking a break can help you rekindle your love for the gym and prevent you from feeling burnt out. A 7-days a week, nonstop mentality, is not sustainable long term.
Pick one or two days a week as your “rest” day from the gym. You can use this day to get some foam rolling, stretching, or light yoga in if you so desire for some added recovery benefits. Use your rest day to focus on other areas of your life. Do laundry, clean your apartment, blog- work on things that may have been put on the back burner because of your time spent training. I have worked 10 days back to back and that can be very mentally draining (on top of everything else). I feel like there is always something I should be doing especially when family is coming to visit soon, daily Blogmas posts, other Christmas to dos and adult responsibilities. Le sighhhh. But I am the type of person that knows if I don’t stop and breathe, my “go go go” personality is a sure fire way to send me towards a guaranteed mental breakdown and/or a very Grinch-like attitude.
If a rest day from the gym is something you struggle with, or you struggle with just relaxing in general, plan it into your day and practice! Plan and practice! Running yourself ragged exhausts your body and your mind. When you take the time to rest and recover, you will feel more refreshed, physically and mentally, which only benefits you in all aspects of your life.
I hope you guys find this post helpful. I know around the holidays it’s easy to have a go go go mentality. Just know that if you miss the workout and spend time with your friends and family instead, all of your gym progress will not be lost. You’ll likely even feel more refreshed and recharged the next time you step into the gym.
Do you incorporate rest days into your gym routine? Why or why not? Do you find rest days to be beneficial for you? Let me know.
I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas Eve Eve! The boyfriend and I are going to build a gingerbread house and watch Eloise at Christmas Time (aka my fave).
Happy Holidays, XO