Thursday, 30 July 2015

The science behind a rest day

Confession time:

I struggle with taking rest days. Not gonna lie, it's a struggle to give my body the rest it deserves/ needs. Some rest days I feel fit and fighting and just want to move- so I do. Some rest days I'm tired and burned out and am definitely in need of the day of rest- but I move any way.

Those days are the psychological ones where my mind starts playing tricks on my body. When it goes into overdrive thinking about how I won't be moving much at all that day, or I'll be sitting down for hours on end at school or whatever and so I NEED to exercise to counteract this.

Or so my mind says.

Lately this has been getting a little out of hand, in the sense that I haven't actually been having any complete days of rest, fitting in some kind of workout everyday. At first, it was fine and I felt good. After a few weeks, it began to take it's toll. Mentally and physically.

Mentally- I wasn't looking forward to my workouts. I was dreading them. Wake up in the morning- ok gotta do my exercise before I can get on with my day. It was like a little road block I had to get through- NOT how I want to view my workouts.

Physically- My body seemed so tired and achy. I would sleep-in longer- something I never do- and it's obvious now that it was my body literally forcing me to have more rest. I grew frustrated and agitated and now that I think about it, my workouts grew shorter, less intense and probably had no effect on anything- mood, endorphins, health- whatsoever!
Of course, as an avid health and fitness blog reader, I knew how important rest days are and how you will actually benefit from them! But some dark, evil section of my brain clouded that knowledge and told me that rest days would make me weak, or set back my progress, or something like that. I'm not even too sure what it was that I feared most of all. I just blindly went with it.

I knew my torn muscle tissues needed time to recover, I knew my body needed time to recover to prevent injuries from occurring, I knew my immune system could over heat and my sleep could get affected. I knew that I was doing more damage than good to my mental edge.

So, a few days ago, I had enough. I wanted my fun workouts back. My motivation and the great feeling I get after exercising with a happy and health
y body and frame of mind.
And guess what? The world kept spinning, I kept living, and the next day I was pumped for a run! I will admit that there were some small pockets of time during that day that I had a bit of anxiety, but really they were miniscule and in the end I managed to ignore them. I knew I was doing my body a service and that seemed to quieten the worries.

In the end I think it's true that there are two types of people when it comes to rest days:
And I probably fit with the latter, however now I'm making it a priority to fit in a couple of days of rest during the week to keep my body happy and healthy and enjoying movement as it should be!

Click here for some funny (and downright truthful) thoughts you have on a rest day!

What about you?
Do you/ have you ever struggled with taking rest days?
How many rest days do you take a week that make you feel on top of your game?
Favourite activities to do on rest days?

That's all from me today folks, just something that's been running through my mind recently ;). I hope you all have a fabulous day, do something that makes you happy and eat something delicious! Bye for now friends!! :D


  1. I actually enjoy my rest days. I'm a sloth by nature. Sort of.

    Although I have trouble taking more than one a week. I want to do well in every single race & that' won't happen if I don't do every single workout on my plan, right?

    Well, yeah, I know that's not true. I've proven it to myself. Yet I still struggle with it, just like I'm struggling with IT band aches right now, although there's no clear cut culprit for it this time, I definitely wasn't overtraining. It seems I'm just wired this way.

    1. Chocolaterunsjudy,
      My IT bands are naturally super tight too! And I always get some pretty achy legs after running. Rolling out IT bands is not fun!!
      Steph 2 chef xx

  2. I definitely struggle with taking rest days. I think I need to be doing something everyday or I feel lazy (I know, I know...nonsense!). I have been taking yoga on my rest day- cheating? Probably.

    1. Heather,
      I am basically the same, but I'm finding as I make myself rest more and more it gets easier! Yoga is definitely not cheating... it's relaxing! Unless you're doing hard core yoga. Then you're cheating ;)
      Steph 2 chef xx

  3. I've definitely struggled with taking rest days. It's gotten a lot better over time, but back in the worst of it, I'd literally be going crazy with anxiety if I wasn't working out. And it didn't help that I didn't know what to do with the extra time either. But rest days are so, so important. And to be honest, the more I took, the better results I saw.

    1. Amanda,
      I'm the same- I find that as I allow myself to take more and more rest days, the easier it gets to really rest! And then feel a heck of a lot better the next day!! :D
      Steph 2 chef xx

  4. Same here. I too struggle with rest days, especially as i am trying to shed some weight.
    But when I do, I feel myself to be having lot of energy.

    1. Anonymous,
      It's crazy how we deny ourselves the extra energy and better performance that a rest day enables, right? I don't get my mind sometimes!!
      Steph 2 chefxx


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