Post # 1
I have such a hard time taking days off. I know I should probably take at least a day off each week but sometimes I feel guilty, especially if its more than that. I have a pretty erratic schedule which can get in the way and my job can be physically demanding. On the really tough days, I will convince myself that rest is more important, but can’t get past the guilt!
What are your philosophies on rest and how often do you take days off? And how do you decide which days to take?
I am feeling really bad right now because I started feeling sick yesterday so took yesterday & today off. I realize that I really need to take a n break when I’m sick, but it stinks!!
Post # 3
@Amayansong: I think that, as you are experiencing, your body will tell you when it needs to take a break. I’ll take periodic breaks, but sparingly because I find that my motivation level is super dependent on routine. I’ll let myself take a day here or there, but as soon as I take more than 1 day off? Oh man, there goes that workout regimen. 😛
Post # 4
For me days off, or rather, “rest days” are vital for the body’s recovery and energy levels. I usually will have 3 really strong work outs/week, like running 3-5 miles per wk out and then add in some form of cross training like strength training or even hot yoga.
The other days I will just walk, but mind you, on those lower intensity wk outs I still do a minimum of 3 miles at 4.0mph – if I am with my dog I will take her for a 6 mile hike filled with rugged terrain and hills.
I rarely ever take a whole day off, and if I do its only cause I am sick, can’t hit up the gym due to work related stuff, and /or the weather is too crappy to get Ms. Doggie Pie out. I try not to feel guilty on those days, in fact, I sort of relish them since its really a nice break.. though I will admit it sucks to not at least get out for some fresh air and quality time with the dog.
Today is my rest day, I have a dinner meeting after work and don’t want messy gym hair at dinner… Its fantastic cause I woke up with my period and tbh I really don’t mind taking it easy on the first day of!
*edited to add that I used to be much more agressive in my fitness routine, like multiply the above x’s 10 but about 2 years ago I became really sick and was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease – I find that my body really responds well to the “less is more” approach when it comes to fitness. I also find that if I don’t stay viligant about taking rest days and continue to work out at high intensity rates more than specified above (even if I have the energy at the time) it will catch up to me and I will be sidelined for days if not a week sometimes.
My point is that fitness is personal to each body and you really need to take a personal and intuitive approach when it comes to maintenence and self care.
Post # 5
Rest days are when your body repairs the muscle damage caused by working out – aka, when it builds muscle. If you don’t allow your body recovery time to perform this function, you’re going to make yourself more prone to injury. It’s really good to at least take active rest days once or twice a week, especially if you’re getting in heavy workouts the rest of the week.
Some helpful info on rest days:
Post # 6
Rest is important for muscles, and I like to add a day of light cardio in between my lifting days. I normally do weight training Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then cardio on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your body will give you signs if you need more rest. I’ve spent the last 2 weekends doing yard work and my muscles were sore for days so I stayed away from the gym. Ironically, I discovered that I had lost weight after skipping the gym for a few days. Go figure. My philosophy is that I like to do one active thing per day, whether that’s going to the gym, taking the dog on a walk, washing the car, doing yardwork, etc. My level of activity will depend on the amount of weight training I’ve been doing and generally how I feel that day.
Post # 7
Personally, I think “off days” are focused more on individuals who aggressively work out. I normally take 2 (sometimes 1 or 3) days off per week just b/c otherwise I get bored. But, my workouts aren’t super vigorous where I need rest days b/c my body is sore or exhausted. A common workout for me would be alternating running/walking (5.4 mph & 4.6 mph w/ incline) for 30 mins, elliptical around 10 mins, and then squats/lunges/leg lifts. Other days I’ll do a video at home.
Again, this is just me where I try for a moderate workout each day to clear my mind and keep my metabolism in check. Definitely a different story if you’re training heavily.
Post # 8
I guess it kind of depends on what kind of workout you’re doing. If you’re doing mainly cardio there is less of a need to take “rest days” than if you were doing weight training.
I do some sort of cardio 6 days a week (walk, run, elliptical, bike, etc) and lift weights 3 days a week. On Sundays I do absolutely nothing. Haha.
Post # 9
I have a set schedule, otherwise I won’t stick to it and inevitably end up allowing myself to get comfy on the couch each night.
Right now, I think I have a pretty solid schedule and I’m lucky enough to work at a company that has a gym (with classes!) in the office.
Tuesdays and Fridays are my off days. Monday and Wednesday is “Core Muscle” class, which mixes weight lifting with cardio (80% weights, 20% cardio). Thursday is a cardio kickboxing class that is 80% cardio, 20% weights.
Saturday and Sunday I mix it up with a run or an Insanity DVD. Sometimes life gets in the way of fitting in a workout on Saturdays and I definitely feel guilty on those days!
Post # 10
When I was working out really hardcore, I wouldn’t really take rest days. And if I did I would end up taking my dogs for a, like 2 hour walk or doing something that was some kind of exercise.
When you really need to rest, your body will let you know.
Post # 11
I don’t love working out (or even really like it), but I take 2-3 rest days a week. I normally do 35 min yoga routine (Jillian Michaels) after work M/T/Th/Sat morning, and sometimes on Sunday if I feel like it.
Like pps have said, rest days are very important for your muscles.
Post # 12
I work out a lot, and I take rest days maybe once every two weeks and “easy days” once a week. So sometimes on Sunday I’ll go on a hike or go to yoga and I’ll consider that enough of a rest day that I don’t need another full day off. When I’m training for a marathon and running a lot, I will take a full rest day each week but when I’m cross training I don’t feel it’s necessary. As long as you are a healthy weight and not feeling burned out, I don’t think you need a full rest day each week if you don’t want it.
Post # 13
i always feel guilty on my rest days (usually saturday and sunday, but i do yoga sunday which isn’t totally a rest), but then when i go to work out on monday my workouts are SO much better. it’s amazing how much harder i can push after having a day or two of rest. so i always really enjoy my workouts monday after resting on the weekend, and i just look forward to it when i start to feel guilty. 🙂
Post # 14
@sleepyhead22: Very true & I have to remember that. My bootcamp is closed on Sundays and its true that Monday always feels great!
I really appreciate everyone sharing their different routines. It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one who feels bad and at the same time, that a lot of people really value that rest.
I had to take Saturday & Sunday off this week because we took a road trip. I had a physically challenging day at work Monday & could felt like I might be getting sick so I decided to rest. Then of course Tuesday & Wednesday I was sick!! That’s the longest I’ve gone in a while!! Thats why the guilt is kicking in! I may try to go back to my class today. I hope I’m up for it!!
Post # 15
@Amayansong: Ok, speaking as a certified fitness trainer and also as someone who works out and works in the industry as a supervisor – you need to take breaks. I’ve studied this extensively, so hear me out.
Here’s why – working out is good for you, yes. But rest is crucial for your muscles and bones. Working out actually breaks down muscle tissue to a certain extent and the more you train the more it “breaks down.” This is why you should NEVER weight train the same muscle group on consecutive days. With me so far?
During the rest period your muscles build themselves back up. They need the rest to heal the tiny tears. Think of it this way if it makes you feel better – you’re building muscle just as much when you rest as when you work out. The more muscle you build the less body fat you’ll have.
Also – I used to work with an attorney who kept working out even while he was sick with a virus. Somehow the virus was forced into his heart muscle, and that sidelined him for almost a year. REST when you’re sick!!!
Post # 16
We take Sunday’s off. It’s our day to veg out and simply relax.