Listen to your body

Sometimes rest is just as important as working out.

That's right. 

Rest is important. 

I’m going to go a step further. 

Rest does not equal laziness. 

It’s hard to believe that when we live in a culture that values a workaholic lifestyle in all facets of life. We never stop. We don't take breaks. And we're often rewarded, or applauded, for grinding through 12 and 14 hour days. 

The "more is better" mentality is so prevalent that it’s going to permeate everything you do, and fitness is no exception.

Someone runs a Tough Mudder on Saturday, but has a long run or a workout scheduled for Sunday and despite the fatigue and bruising from 13 obstacles in a Tough Mudder, she does her workout anyway. You can get away with this for awhile, but eventually, your body comes to collect. Over-training can lead to injury, poor sleep, an overtaxed immune system, and mental fatigue. 

Fitness isn't all or nothing. And it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Movement everyday is a good idea. Intense workouts everyday is going to catch up with you eventually. 

There’s a fine line between taking some appropriate rest time and taking off so much time that you lose momentum and lose progress. I’m not talking about taking weeks off from training. I’m talking about listening to your body and taking a day when it needs a day. About paying attention when it starts telling you it’s had enough.  

You’ve set performance goals for yourself. Set a rest goal for yourself too. Take your day to day life into account. If you work four 12 hour days and a row and average five hours of sleep per night, your best bet on day five is probably rest. 

There's such a thing as active rest too. Use your foam roller. Get a massage. Do your warm up five times.  

But listen to your body.