About a three months or so ago, after working out consistently for 6 months straight, I decided to take a week break from exercising. This came about because I realized I wasn’t working out at my peak anymore. It was becoming increasingly harder for me to get out of bed to exercise and when I finally crawled to my fitness room I didn’t push myself as hard as I normally would. My results stalled, my muscles hurt for longer than usual and I came to the realization that I was burned out and not really getting anything out of the workouts anymore. This is when I came to the difficult decision to take a little break.
Taking a break from working out sounds easy enough but for a person like me who is dedicated to their fitness journey and has reached the point in their life where being fit and healthy is 100% a part of their lives and routine, taking a break from one part of the health and fitness lifestyle is like taking a break from breathing. A bit dramatic but if you are living a healthy and fit lifestyle you know what I’m talking about.
The fact of the matter is, it is very important to give your muscles and body time to rest and repair if you want them to perform optimally. Resting is just as important as working out in order to build endurance and strength and truly see the fruits of your labor reflected on your body. I work out six days a week and take one day to rest and recover, some people work out five days in a week and have two recovery days. Whatever works for you as long as you give your body time to rest is fine.
Resting your muscles and body may sound counter-productive if you have set certain goals for yourself or have a weight loss timetable you are trying to accomplish but believe me when I tell you that your results will come faster if you allow your muscles to repair and rebuild and your body time to recover and heal from the stress that it is out through from working out.
You don’t have to take a whole week off like I did, but in my case I needed the break. I had gone from one workout program to the next for six months and I needed to take a break before starting another program. During the break, I still ate healthy because I didn’t want to reverse the efforts of six months in one week, which can easily happen, and I took the time to plan my fitness and health goals for the next six months. I still woke up at 4 am but instead of heading for my fitness room, I took advantage of the quiet and alone time and read a book.
At the end of the week break, I felt refreshed and rejuvenated and was anxious to get back into my routine. I started a new program one week after my break and I was energized and was able to push past my limits and take full advantage of the time workout time.
Don’t worry that taking a break will hinder your goals or halt your progress. The complete opposite actually holds true. After your break, you will feel like a new person with a renewed vigor to accomplish your fitness goals and your muscles and body will thank you and perform to their full potential as a show of gratitude.