Q: When should we give our bodies a day off? How often? How do you know it’s time for a rest day and how can we avoid feeling lazy on those days?
A: When you first start exercising, or you are unsure about when to rest, I suggest setting one or two days a week that are non-negotiable days off. This way, you just know and you build it into your schedule. If you’d rather not set a day and instead play it by ear, your body will tell you when it needs a break. If you’ve trained hard for a few days in a row, your muscles need time to rest and recover. When you’ve given your body the down time it needs, that’s when the true magic happens and your next workout will be that much more effective. Results don’t actually happen in the gym, the transformation happens outside of the gym by treating our body right. What you do in the gym only pays off if you nurture your body through ample sleep, good eating to fuel the body, and a healthy lifestyle.
For me, Thursday is my rest day. I make sure to do something on Thursdays to pamper myself, whether it’s getting a pedicure or going shopping. I still may train clients and walk my dog, so I am active, but I give my body the day to rest and recover from the heavy weight training I do.
Just like anything else, rest days are different for everyone depending on their fitness level, activity, lifestyle, and preferences. The most important thing is to always listen to your body.
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