Embrace Those Rest Days

Hello, hello, helloooooo!

How was your weekend?!

Ours seemed to fly by and was suddenly over in no time. We didn’t have many plans going into the weekend, but it ended up being a pretty busy weekend by the time all was said and done.

A quick run-down:

  • Friday evening: We hung out with my mom and stepdad. We played with Hunter, watched some HGTV, and went to a little gyro joint for dinner.
  • Saturday morning: Cody, Hunter, and I went for a hike, and then we went over to Cody’s stepbrother’s house to see their new house and hang out for a bit.
  • Saturday afternoon: Played outside with Hunter and did laundry during his nap.
  • Saturday evening: We hung out with some friends we haven’t seen in awhile – ate brownies, played with our kids, and caught up on lost time.
  • Sunday morning: Visited a new church.
  • Sunday afternoon: We had a low-key day with my grandparents, dad, and stepmom – played some cards, ate good food, and chased Hunter around.
  • Sunday evening: Got ready for the upcoming week – packed lunch, put away laundry, ironed clothes.

So, there ya go. Very few photos were taken, so you aren’t missing too much. Winking smile It was a nice little weekend spent with family and good friends.

Anyways, let’s switch gears here and move on to some fitness (or lack thereof?) talk…

I wanted to chat with you guys about rest days! Oh, and how much I love them.

IMG_2710

Resting while Hunter napped. I read blogs while Cody watched a show.

Rest days are a funny thing. I’ve noticed that rest days can be viewed so differently depending on the person.

There are the people that dread exercising because they don’t find a type of exercise that is enjoyable or fun for them. They typically live for their rest days since they despise their workouts so much.

Then there’s the people that are so consumed with exercise, their workout plan, and/or being active that taking a rest day is difficult for them. Most of the time, I’ve found these people to be addicted to exercise/burning calories/endorphins/etc., and they actually dread rest days.

I used to be in the latter group of people, no doubt about it. I would beat myself up all day on my ONE rest day per week because I wasn’t exercising, burning calories, etc. Then I’d focus on eating less calories because if I’m burning less that day, obviously I need to eat less, right? NO! Our bodies need those extra calories on rest days to allow our muscles to rebuild, repair, and recover. It’s no wonder my body was unhappy for so long.

Rest days are so necessary for our health:

  • They give our bodies a break from the physical stress,
  • they are when our muscles repair and recover, and
  • they help replenish our energy stores.

Fortunately, I’ve come to place that I actually enjoy my rest days! I typically take 2-3 rest days per week, and I don’t think twice about it. Sometimes I know my body needs an unplanned day of rest, other times it’s a busy day and I don’t end up getting to my workout, and still other times I just know a rest day would be good for my body. I use the extra time to sleep in or spend quality time with my family and/or friends.

Capture

Some of my rest days consist of a lot of lounging and resting, while other rest days are more of an “active recovery” day and consist of walks, running errands, and/or cleaning the house. I value those down times, and I know my body appreciates it too. In fact, I’d say that my body is probably in the best shape it’s ever been. I most definitely associate it to not overtraining, taking plenty of rest days, and listening to my body.

In short, embrace those rest days!!! Your body loves them!

What did you do this weekend?

Do/did you ever struggle with taking rest days?

How many rest days do you typically take per week?

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Comments

  1. says

    This post comes at a great time for me! ALL of last week was a rest week for me. I was sick and could barely breathe, let alone workout. I was worried about it at first but guess what, my clothes still fit ;) Shocker… kidding! Our bodies tell us when we need rest, we just need to listen.

  2. says

    I have been taking way more rest days then I like lately. I find it so hard to get out of the house without my baby, so much has to line up perfectly for me to get to the gym. I usually end up doing a home workout or slipping out for a quick 5km. To be honest, I’d rather spend my days with baby T. , he’s only this small for such a short amount of time. I know my marathon training is starting pretty soon so there will be a whole lot of exercise then. Sounds like a fun weekend:)

  3. says

    Great post! I just wrote a similar post on rest days :D I always preach about how important rest days are! I am actually one of those people that LOVES to train, and I’d much rather be doing something active than resting. BUT I know how important it is, how rested and rejuvenated I feel after resting, so I always make sure to rest.Right now I typically do about 1-2 rest days a week, I just listen to my body. Some days I’m super sore, so I rest. Listening is super important, but making sure you get at least one day of rest no matter what is important to me as well!

  4. says

    So glad you posted this! While I know all of these things, it’s always nice to be reminded. I’d say I fit into the 2nd category you mentioned, but slowly making my way to a happier middle ground. I really admire you for your balanced approach. I don’t think our bodies are made to be pushed to exercise every day, even though it sometimes seems like that’s what the world around us says. We’ve got to learn to honor our bodies and do what’s best for US, no one else.

  5. says

    Being a new mother I find that unplanned rest days occur more frequently than I expected and I think it’s God’s way of reminding me that there are far more important things to tend to some days than getting a workout in : )

  6. says

    Sounds like a great weekend! I use to suck at rest days, but now I’m valuing them more than ever. I’m actually taking a few days off right now just because I’ve been feeling a bit run down these days. Before 3 days off in a row would be unheard of, but now, I’m kind of loving it. It makes me value and appreciate the workouts I do that week even more.

  7. says

    Now everyday is a rest day for me except not really cuz I have a newborn haha when I’m working out I usually take one rest day a week – however that being said, the rest of my six workout days are not hardcore – so really maybe I take more “active rest days” ya know? Either way, I agree – rest days are so important!

  8. Katie says

    I used to be the girl who never took rest until my body was like STOP you need to rest but I’ve learned that isn’t helping my fitness at all. Now I look forward & enjoy the extra “PJ time”! I don’t workout nearly as much as I used to! Probably about 2-3 rest days. Working out on weekends is pretty much unheard of these days unless its yoga or I’m racing. I rather spend time with family. This weekend we moved! The worst is over now & just need to do a thing last things before we are officially in our new place! I can’t wait, I enjoy crashing at my parents but I want my own bed! :)

    • Ashley says

      I’m with you on the weekend workouts. I’d much rather spend time with my family! We’ve been having fun doing some family hiking lately though – kill two birds with one stone. ;) Yay for moving! I hope you are able to get settled in quickly.

      • Katie says

        Hopefully this weekend we will be all settled in!! :) Fingers crossed & I LOVE hiking!! :) We have a pretty decent “mountain” here that I love using as a workout/family time!

  9. says

    Love this! I used to be in the latter group you mentioned, as well. I agonized over rest days and am so grateful I can actually enjoy the 2-3 I take each week. And, yes, I spent years trying to ‘build muscle’ when I was working out 6-7 days a week. Not gonna happen, and now that I take rest days, I have a significant amount more

  10. says

    I’ve definitely been in the ‘freak-out-about-restdays’ camp before…especially the unplanned ones where something would come up and I wouldn’t be able to fit a workout in. These days though? Freakin’ love my restdays, even though my workouts aren’t intense at all. Mine usually end up being more ‘active rest’ because the dog isn’t going to walk himself, but having the extra time and relaxation is so nice…I know that once I’m able to introduce more intense workouts again, I’ll still be taking advantage of rest days often!

  11. Naomi says

    Well, the last month has basically been one long rest day haha, thanks to a foot injury. Aside from planks. I have been keeping up with those :) I tried to run again over the weekend, and have dealt with pain again since, so looks like some more rest for me. Frustrating, but I definitely don’t want to injure myself worse by jumping back in too soon. I am doing my best to embrace it!

    • Ashley says

      Sorry to hear about your injury, Noami! I hope it heals quickly. In the meantime, I’m glad you’re trying to embrace this time to rest your body.

  12. says

    Yup I used to be the same too; dreading rest days, but now I can’t get enough of them! It’s amazing to see how much better your body performs (& needs) after a couple rest days.

  13. says

    You’re preaching to the choir, sister. I used to be totally anti-rest days (and, similar to you, on the days that I would allow myself to “rest” I would restrict my intake to compensate). Recently I took 10 days off from formal exercise while traveling and I couldn’t BELIEVE how strong my body felt once I hit the yoga mat before. I’m now totally a proponent not only for rest days, but rest weeks!

  14. says

    I love rest days so much! I find that active rest days for me are my favorites, whether it is a gentle yoga class or a walk with my little family. And of course I have those days of doing absolutely nothing too! ;) I find that if I have a rest day, I am much more excited to get back at my workouts the next day!

  15. says

    I used to feel kinda guilty for taking rest days, but now I love them! ha. They are the key to me not getting burned out and injured.

  16. says

    I used to struggle with rest days and barely took any, however now I take them as needed, some weeks it is 2-3 other weeks 1 – but then it there are light workouts. I like to do easy yoga/stretching or walks on rest days so I still feel like I moved a bit!

  17. says

    YES! I love this post [and you!] so much. You’re perspective is so refreshing!
    I know my body feels so much better when it is getting rest and lots of sleep which I haven’t always been great about. But once you realize the power of rest you’ll never go back :)

  18. says

    I used to be in the latter group as well dreading rest days and would even say that there are times now (if it’s more than two days a week) that I feel guilty about resting rather than working out. Most weeks I get in a good 5 – 6 days and look forward to at least one full day of rest. Which includes activities like yours, reading blogs while The Hubby watches a show :-)

  19. says

    That pic of you both on your laptops, I actually said “AWW” out loud. LOVE IT! I love just being beside Tyler even if we are doing two different things.

    I’m not gonna lie, my life feels like one giant rest day lately haha. So clearly, I don’t mind them!! Well, that’s a lie, I would love to get in a more consistent workout routine, but I always do value rest days and definitely am in the group of not beating myself up for resting. Great attitude on embracing them :)

  20. says

    I have been taking a “rest 3 weeks and counting…” kind of break over here ;) My body kept getting injured after my workouts and I was tired of being in pain so I decided to take a rest week….and that was about 3 weeks ago. I am still not feeling up to par, so I don’t want to jump back into things too quickly. At first it was really tough and I felt guilty, but now I am honestly enjoying it :)

  21. says

    Great post! I always take at lest one rest day per week and then I try to have a few easy workout days. I love rest days and think they help both mentally and physically. It took me a long time to figure this out but once I had my baby; my priorities shifted.

  22. says

    I love to exercise and I love to rest! I am happy to say that neither has ever been a problem for me. I workout mostly for my health, mental and physical and I think that reason alone keeps me from going crazy either way. My goal is usually to exercise more days than I don’t during the week so when I get in four workouts, I feel good!!

  23. says

    My feelings toward rest days are heavily influenced by whether or not it was a planned or unplanned rest day. Planned ones feel great! The others… ehhhh… not so much.

    How is it hiking with Hunter? Sounds like a challenge!

  24. says

    It’s so good that you talked about rest days! I think we healthy living bloggers tend to talk about exercising, stretching, racing, etc. but we don’t focus on rest, and rest days are so important! I feel relaxing weekends are important too because they help me recharge!

    We had a busy, but fun weekend back on campus at our alma mater watching the Virginia Tech spring game.

  25. says

    This is fabulous! I am so like you (and was similar before too, haha). Now I’m like yes! Rest day! And I don’t teach Saturdays right now, so those are usually a rest day (depending on if I sub or not/have to practice or not) but this past Saturday I needed SLEEP like whoah. And I cleaned a ton–so that was active rest…. ;)

    MISS YOU MORE!!

  26. says

    Weekends are usually when I take my rest days! I am pretty busy during the week and it seems like weekends are usually the best time for me to set time aside to spend with friends and family. I really value rest days because not only are they good for my body but also for my mind!

  27. says

    oh how i agree! and that’s why i sometimes take more than one. I need it. but more so just to do other things, like catch up in life, walk with a friend, and if i can, NAP!

  28. says

    I try to take 1 rest day a week, but I must admit it’s very difficult for me. I’m an active person so even on rest days I like to swim or take a walk. There are times when I’ve just not done anything, but it’s rare. I actually find after taking a rest day I actually perform worse the next day. I’ve been focusing more on logging on how my body feels to discover what things make it feel better. So far I’m finding diet has more of an impact and sleep too.

  29. Amanda N says

    I’ve never had a trouble taking rest days so I guess that’s good. I typically take 2 rest days per week (before I was pregnant I only took 1 but 2 works better now). Our weekend consisted of a family baptismal party and visiting a friend. Overall, it was a good weekend :)

  30. says

    I always do at least one rest day, more if needed. I also plan for some easy workouts intermixed with the hard. Before it would kill me to rest more than one day. Now I know I need it and will thrive with it!

  31. says

    I think having easy and hard workouts plus 2-3 rest days can be super beneficial! I hate programs that have been trying to go hardcore everyday or people feeling guilty for rest days. I just wrote a race recap about how I had been working out less but haven’t gained any weight or gotten slower! Rest days are so your body can recover and repair/gain muscles! Thanks for reminding people that rest days are not for the weak!

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