The temperature has been dropping here in Boston and when I got to the gym yesterday my motivation was at zero. Every Monday morning I teach spin then after work I usually go into the gym to lift. When I got to the gym I was exhausted so I headed into the sauna to warm up and took an unplanned 20 minute nap (not recommended!). After I woke up…confused… I went into the gym and started doing some shoulders figuring I could get something going, but I just wasn’t feeling it. So…I went home. No guilt, I needed the rest and that was that. On my way home I thought about when my last rest day was and it was probably the previous Tuesday. I was definitely due a break and my body and mind were telling me so.
It can be really tough to decipher when you need a break or when you’re just feeling lazy. This is when you should ask yourself– is it just mental or is it physical?
Below are 5 questions you can ask yourself to see if you’re just in the wrong mental space to get a good workout in and how to turn it around.
- How is my mood?
- How rested am I?
- What does/did my day look like?
If you have a long day at of work ahead or a long day with your kids, you might not feel compelled to go through an entire workout. But remember, your health is a priority and you have to take care of yourself. Just do something. I’m a huge fan of walking and on days like I’ve described above, walking is perfect. It lowers stress levels, it’s easy on your body and you can do it anywhere. Even just a 15 minute walk is enough…get outside in the fresh air and get some movement in.
- When was my last rest day?
- muscle repair and growth
- avoids burnout
- avoids injury or strains
- increased performance
- Am I bored with my current routine?
This is a big one! If you aren’t having fun with your current routine, find a new one! Exercise should be fun and you should be doing what you enjoy or it’s never going to stick. I just happen to know someone who might be able to help you out with this one 😉
Below are 4 ways to tell if you might need a rest day because of physical reasons:
- You need longer recovery time between sessions
- You’re more sore than normal after your usual workouts
- Aching joints
I’m not even going to break these down. If you’re feeling any of the above, take a rest day or two. I promise you won’t lose an ounce of progress if you give your body some time to rest! If anything, you’ll get stronger.
Like I said above, it can be really hard to figure out when you need a rest day and when you need to just push through. I hope this article helps!
What other tips or ideas do you have for choosing when to work or when to rest?