Where are your gains really being made? When you are in the gym doing high intensity workouts, hitting a strength PR, or even just running are we really getting stronger or losing weight?
When you complete an exercise, you are breaking down your muscle fibers, elevating your heart rate, and allowing your adrenal glands to secrete the adrenaline and cortisol. The real trick is to getting fit is REST!
Our bodies are completely broken down and in order to adapt to the stressors and change we must rest and allow our bodies to grow and repair! Time off training has many benefits.
Allows our bodies to physically recover
Prevents mental burnout
Time for other life obligations
Our bodies require lots of time to recover. Often times, it requires more than we actually think. When you exercise daily you are continually breaking down muscle tissue and are releasing hormones into your body. In order to allow your body to rest and recover during weekly exercise, I would take 1-2 days out of the week to allow for full rest. At times, it is also healthy to take extended periods of time off of training. A week of rest will allow for your body to completely reset and get you ready to keep pushing forward towards your goals. That extended period of rest will also allow for any nagging injuries to heal.
Taking 1-2 days a week or even that week of rest also prevents mental burnout. As much as we all love to get up, workout, and feel refreshed and ready for the rest of our day, that can get pretty monotonous. Before you know it, we start skipping days here and there and we are completely thrown off track of our goals. Taking a week to yourself can help reset your mindset and allow for the mental rest at you might not have known that you needed.
Lastly, life gets crazy. We have all had the days that we had to cancel our workouts because of other issues. We also all have little nagging chores that we have been putting off and doing absolutely anything else that we can think of to avoid that one thing we don’t want to do. Taking an extended period off of training allows for your to not only mentally reset but also tend to life obligations that we might have been putting off or struggling to fit into our schedule.
If you have been training nonstop for weeks at a time and you feel like your body is physically beat down, mentally you are struggling, or you just have a to do list that is growing but you continually ignore, maybe you should take some extended time off of training. We all want to reach our goals and sometimes that requires a mental and physical reset that will help even life out.