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Let’s Talk: Rest Days

Hey. Hi. Hello! Happy Saturday! That’s right, it’s 6:19 on Saturday, March 10th. Clearly, I didn’t have a post for yesterday. I woke up and felt so sick and so sore. Naturally, instead of sitting around my apartment doing nothing, I decided to go shopping around the city and work out for 2 hours. When all of that was said and done, it was 7:30 at night and I had given up for the day. SO, I’m coming at you on this cold Saturday with a post about something I’m bad at: Rest Days.

I’m one of those people who works out 7 days a week. Or, at least I WAS. In case it isn’t obvious by now, I’ve constantly battled my weight all of my life. I’m not going to go into details because I’ve talked about it in many different posts. However, it’s important to note that my body images are the reason I work out 7 days a week. About a year or so ago, I would go to the gym and spend 3 hours there trying to undo the effects of whatever I had eaten the day before.

I was doing 30 minutes of HIIT sprints, then 2.5 hours of lifting or classes like Barre and Body Pump. While I wasn’t noticing any results by doing this, I was getting more and more compliments about how I looked “skinny,” which is all I lived for. Plus, once I started working out every day, if there ever WAS a time I decided to take a day off, I would get hounded with guilt from my mom like, “Why did you take a day off? That’s not like you.”

Basically, if you see where I’m coming from, rest days were never something I bought into. However, rest days are probably the most important day’s someone can have. Yes, it has taken me this long and a personal trainer certification to realize this, but that’s why I’m making a post about it. So why are rest days really that important?

First, start by thinking about all the things that happen when you sleep. We know that a good night of sleep is incredibly important for us because it increases our mood, increases our quality of life, improves attention, lowers stress etc. etc. Rest days can basically be considered an increased sleep day. Your muscles need time to fully go through protein synthesis and the rest of your body needs ample time to recover, no matter what sort of workout you’re doing.

Of course, a person who goes into the gym and does cardio for 30 minutes is more equipped to go back into the gym the next day than say, someone who has been lifting weights for an hour, put both types of exercises need a day to let their body rest and catch up to them. Basically, for every two days of working out, you should ideally take 24 hours to recover, which is why most people are working out 4-5 times per week.

I’ve struggled to let myself rest because I often feel 10 times lazier on a rest day. More often than not my body isn’t sore the day after working out. So, that makes me feel like if I’m not sore I can work out, or train a muscle group that doesn’t feel sore. Today is an unusual exception because my entire body still hurts from my workouts this past week, so I was basically forced to listen to my body and rest.

Rest days are hard to justify for many people. If you’re someone who has the same issues I do, I like to plan my rest days and pack things into them. That way, instead of feeling like I should be working out, I schedule all the things I want to do and set out to accomplish them. On the other hand, someone who may just be starting to work out may find it easier to rest than to get back to the gym. I’ve had those moments too, and the only way I’ve found myself motivated is my planning out meals around my workout schedule, and surrounding myself with #fitspo. On days when I planned to work out, I would let myself have an indulgence as a reward, which isn’t often encouraged but it helped me get back into a routine.

If you take nothing from this post, just know that rest days are IMPORTANTE, and you need at least one every week, which may definitely help you see an increase in gainz along the way. Now, I’m off to clean out my lipstick collection and catch up on TV. Until next time, xoxo.

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