I exercise for several reasons. First and foremost – I enjoy it! Exercising is my method of stress relief, and I love the satisfied feeling of smashing a workout. I enjoy having the gym as part of my routine. Secondly, I do it to stay fit and healthy, of course. I do it so I can be comfortable and happy in my body, to improve my strength and physique, to feel confident in myself knowing that I am pushing myself to be the best I can be, improving myself both physically and mentally.
Whilst all of this is important, it is easy to forget that your body needs to rest. I workout six out of seven days of the week, so I always always make sure I have a rest day. It is essential for your muscles to heal, so taking rest days when needed, getting enough sleep and making sure you are getting the right amount of food for your body to fuel itself is vital. Yes exercise is important, but it is also so important to listen to your body, not only to prevent injury, but to keep yourself mentally well too.
One of the things I struggle with on rest days is guilt. When exercise is part of your daily routine it is easy to feel a little lost on those days that it is not included, for all of the reasons I mentioned above. However, I need to remember that it is vital for my body to heal so I am ready to face the next week and give 100% into that next workout, and everything else that I have to do on a daily basis.
If one day I wake up and my body really doesn’t feel like exercising that day, it is okay for me not to exercise. If one day I have SO MUCH work to do that I literally do not have time or am too tired by the end of the day, then it is okay not to exercise! One or two days of rest now and then is completely fine and also necessary. Remember to listen to what your body needs.
It is silly to feel guilty for taking a day to just relax because, in the long run, it is a lot healthier for your mind and body. These are all things that I continuously tell myself in order to keep moving towards my own goals and to improve my mind set towards fitness. After all, it is a lifestyle, not just a phase, and it is essential to keep it sustainable.
It is vital to remember that exercise not only benefits your body, but also your mind. And it is also essential to rest your mind and body when you need it. Overworking yourself will only lead to increased stress levels and fatigue in the long run and that won’t be beneficial. Your workouts will only be effective if you have a healthy mind set, in order to benefit your body, so it is essential that you take the time you need to recover and rest. Don’t feel guilty for having a rest day or two when you need it, it is necessary in order for you to perform the best you can!