This article really took the exact words out of my mouth. I have always wanted to tell some of my Pilates clients who exercise practically everyday to consider the concept of rest. People who do not rest always come to a point where they feel stagnant and loss of form. This is when exercising more cause them to regress. Most of the time we think MORE is good. While that can be true for a lot of people, for some LESS is MORE. So if you are someone who is constantly working, consider taking a break for even greater results.
There lies a delicate balance between working out and resting. It’s a line that we routinely dance on, forgetting the importance of a day off.
If your goal is weight loss, you must remember that your body needs enough calories to function or it will go into starvation mode, which completely halts progress. Vigorous exercise every day coupled with extreme dieting void of wiggle room will likely cause more damage to your goals than not.
If your goal is strength or muscle mass, it’s equally (if not more) important to take a day off. Your muscles grow during periods of rest, it’s simple science and you have to allow yourself that crucial time for recovery. If you fail to do so, and continue to over exert yourself, at the very least you will see a lack of progress but at the worst, you could cause some serious injuries.
If you truly love working out every day then by all means do it! It can typically be accomplished safely by strategic planning. Alternate each day of the week with exercises that work a different muscle group. This will give your muscle fibers time to recover physically and simultaneously feeds your desire to keep up the momentum.
Your mental health is a worthy concern when contemplating days off. Placing too much pressure on yourself to see results and see them fast may be emotionally damaging and at that point, what good is it to reach all of your goals if your unhappy doing it?
Do it for your sanity, to let it all go and relax for a day. Do it for the sake of your goal, let those muscles grow during periods of relaxation. It doesn’t really matter what reason you pin on it, just get to it and do it regularly. A little rest and relaxation goes a long way and recovery is essential to the progress of your fitness goals.