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Rest Days

Your trusted trainers take on REST DAYS...

A rest day is when you take time off of your regular workout schedule and recover physically and mentally from the daily grind. While some people enjoy hitting the gym each day, others simply see it as something they “have” to do! Whether you’re the enthusiastic gym junky or the latter, we all need rest days!

The amount of rest you need can be dictated by the amount of weekly exercise you engage in, type of training and your fitness level. An elite athlete may not need the same amount of rest as someone training for weight-loss. A part of that can be attributed to the two main reasons we “rest”. Our rest may originate from a place of pre-calculation that is scheduled into our workouts for muscle “gain”. If you are partaking in exercise to lose weight or are just an avid exercise goer, you may need not only a physical rest day but a mental rest day. Listening to your body is key to giving it what it needs!

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a rest day:

-Without proper rest, you’re more susceptible to overuse injuries. As a group fitness instructor that aims to create crave-able workouts, some members find it hard to take a rest day. When they leave out this crucial part of their training, they begin to experience nagging pains in their lower back or knees. These are often attributed to the body being overused in repetitive type motions such as squatting, jumping etc. and need a chance to rest!

-Rest after working out is what allows our body to get stronger! By using our muscles working out, tiny tears occur. Our body’s response to these tears are what allows our muscles to get stronger and GROW! Talk about “gains”!

-If you’ve found a nice flow of working out that fits snuggly into your daily schedule, GREAT! But sometimes we need a mental break to avoid burnout. Especially if working out is part of your “daily grind”, everyone needs to break up the monotonous routine! These are days where a leisure walk or light bike ride may be just what the body ordered!

-Often times when we step away from something and come back to it, we have a different outlook or perspective. I have seen this time and time again with clients. They may take a few days off on vacation, comeback, and deadlift more than before they left! It’s kind of like writers block, or brain farts when you’re studying. Walk away, come back, and tackle it head on!

If you’re struggling with the idea of a rest day and are more of the type “A” personality, try scheduling your rest days into your planner and scheduling something else that can help you towards your goal; try something new, catch a beginners restorative yoga flow to help keep your body flexible and injuries at bay, schedule a bike ride thru the park with a friend or go for an evening stroll with your partner after trying out a new healthy recipe you’ve cooked at home with your extra time!

Any fitness enthusiast, avid trainer or athlete knows how important your mindset is to advance in your health and athleticism. That means knowing when and how hard to push and when to ease off and allow your body to rest and recover. At the end of the day, fitness is a tenacious trilogy of body, mind and soul. So go easy on yourself. Praise yourself on the good days and be kind to yourself on the bad…

Your Trainer,

Randa Alami B.S., NASM CPT, FNS, CES

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