Scheduling Your Workouts and Rest Days

Once you find a workout and community that you love, it can be hard to take a rest day.  You are motivated, seeing results, having fun with your friends or making new ones, and you want to keep the momentum going.  While this is a great problem to have, it's still important to take rest days.

Over training can lead to injuries, fatigue, hormonal changes, restless sleep, and a lack of motivation because you never feel recovered.  Your muscles, immune system, and central nervous system all need time to recover.   It's better to be proactive with scheduling your rest days than to wait until your body forces you into taking several days off.  

As I get older, I find that I do best with working out for three days, then taking a rest day.  I truly enjoy working out and I'm at the gym almost every day, so the only inconvenience is that it changes my rest day every week.  To keep things consistent, I usually do three days on, one off, two on, one off.   It can be hard to take a rest day after just two days, especially when I know my friends are at the gym, I really like the workout, etc, but my body appreciates it.  

Having consistent rest days makes it easier to keep a habit, but if you have a hectic schedule, you may do better by scheduling them based on your other commitments.  Look at your calendar on a weekly or monthly basis to determine when you are the busiest.  Schedule your rest days, then schedule three to six workouts each week.  Just like any other appointments or meetings, stick to it.  

Use your rest days to take an easy walk or bike ride, do yoga or stretching, maybe get a massage.  Take care of your body and it will take care of you!