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How I Know When It’s Time to Take A Rest Day

Posted Jul 26 2011 5:14pm

All dressed up…

rest day, take a rest day

And no desire to sweat!

Seriously, I’ve been wearing my workout clothes all day and have thought about running, doing a solo boot camp workout, yoga, or simply taking a walk but the desire to exercise simply isn’t there. Although I love to working out and will often push other important tasks aside in order to do so, I also have days when I lack motivation. Here’s how I differentiate between lack of motivation and true fatigue and know when it’s time to take a rest day.


Rest Day Indicator #1: No activity appeals

Most days, my exercise is determined by simply asking myself What activity would I most enjoy? In fact, the reason that I don’t compete in many races is because a set training schedule interferes with this workout spontaneity.

If I run through all of the possible workout options (running, biking, gym, fitness classes, Beach Body dvds, walking, yoga, etc.) and nothing appeals, then I know that it’s time to take a day of rest.


Rest Day Indicator #2: When the benefits of sleep/rest outweigh the benefits of a workout

nap with mo

On most busy day, I chose an early morning workouts over sleeping in. However, if I wake up and know that missing that extra hour of sleep will do my health more harm than good, I skip the workout and take a rest day.

Likewise, if I plan to workout in the afternoon, yet the thought sleep is considerably more appealing than a sweat session, I skip the workout and use that extra time to get evening chores done so I can head to bed a little early.


Rest Day Indicator #3: My appetite is weird

food post run recovery lunch of hummus, green salad, pasta, and salt

Most days, my appetite is pretty predictable and I fuel my body at regular intervals. Whenever my hunger seems insatiable or non-existent, it’s usually because my body is signaling that it’s overworked and in need of a rest day.


Rest Day Indicator #4: I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s workout more than today’s

If I’m suffering from a general lack of motivation then I won’t look forward to future workouts. However, if I do need rest, then I look forward to the extra energy that the rest day will offer for my next workout. Case in point: though I don’t feel like exercising today, I am already excited for an energetic return to my early morning runs/workout schedule tomorrow.


post run sweaty smile thumbs up

I would love to hear from you…

How do you know when it’s time to take a rest day?

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