While it can be easy to skip a workout – and start a negative trend – it's still important to give ourselves some slack. Rest days are an important part of a workout regimen, producing positive results that rejuvenate your body and help keep you inspired to continue working out.
It's also important to remember that rest days are a scheduled part of most professional training plans. You have a greater risk of injury if you don't rest, as working out places greater strain on muscles, tendons and joints, and those tight muscles and shin splints can turn into more serious injuries.
Moreover, there are certain times when it's best to take a rest day.
1. You're Sick
Resting when you're sick may seem obvious, but it doesn't necessarily mean you need to take a day off when you have the sniffles or a minor cold. But taking time off when you have chest congestion, a fever, or an upset stomach is recommended.
2. Extreme Fatigue
This can come in many forms – chronically not getting enough sleep, long hours at the office, jet lag, etc. Exercise can actually help boost your energy after a night or two of poor sleep, but when you're exhausted after sleep deprivation, it's time to take a break.
3. You're Injured
Putting more strain on an injury by continuing to work out can set you back longer. Allowing yourself time to recuperate will enable you to get back to the gym in a much shorter time frame. Plus, you may be able to perform certain other exercises during this time that don't put strain on your injury.
4. You've Had Surgery
Giving yourself a rest after having surgery is essential, because your body is already working hard on recovering and feeling better. Listen to your doctor. He'll know when you can resume exercise.
5. You've Had A Baby
Doctors generally recommend you wait six weeks after giving birth before you resume your workouts, and even longer if you've had a C-section.
6. You're Too Busy
Let's face it, sometimes life is just too hectic. You've worked all day, hauled your kids around, had a dentist appointment, and made dinner. Don't add additional stress by forcing yourself to work out. But it's important to have a plan in which you can fit some exercise into your busy schedule. Always keep in mind the benefits exercise offers.
If you'd like to learn more about working out and fitting exercise into your schedule, talk with personal trainer Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club of Amarillo.
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