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Why Rest is Important to Your Fitness Plan

iStock_000015177972_SmallHopefully, you’re off to a great start with your New Year’s resolutions! Or, perhaps you’re just maintaining the healthy lifestyle you began living years ago. Either way, you might think that exercising every day (along with a nutritious, low-calorie diet) is the best way to lose weight. It’s true that intense exercise can speed up your weight loss, but you should still take a day to rest each week.

Yes, it is actually possible to exercise too much! If you overdo it, you could risk problems like

  1. Irritability
  2. fatigue
  3. insomnia
  4. sugar cravings – which can obviously impact your diet goals
  5. boredom – doing the same thing every day is sure to make you miserable
  6. burnout – you might get sick of your exercise routine and quit it altogether
  7. injury – which could set you back weeks or months if you have to stop exercising to heal!

As you can see, a day of rest could do wonders to rejuvenate your body and spirit. But that doesn’t mean you should lie on the couch and eat bonbons all day! You can still catch up on housework, work in your garden, practice a little yoga, or go for a leisurely stroll. This is also a good day to plan your meals for the week, go grocery shopping, cut up veggies for easy snacking, or wash your workout clothes. Get yourself set up for another vigorous and fulfilling week.

The point is to take a break from your usual routine, allow your muscles to rest, and take some of the stress off of your body. Working out is hard on your muscles, and they need a day of rest to relax and rebuild themselves.

On your rest day, remember to set aside a few minutes for meditation. Review your fitness and weight loss goals, and remind yourself why you’re on this journey. You should wake up refreshed the next day, ready to conquer another week of hard work and rewards!