Rest Days

Have had an interesting dilemma this week.  I’ve joined a facebook group as part of the 12WBT program and there was a discussion about rest days.  My usual routine is going to the gym each weekday morning and burning approx 500cal through cardio and weights, 1-2 nights a week for cardio only then Sat & Sun doing a circuit that burns at least 1000 cal.

I’m not very good at taking rest days but advice from the group was that they were very important as they allowed your body time to rest and recuperate.  Not taking them could lead to illness and injury.

My first thought of a morning (after running through which day of the week it is), is what time do I need/want to be at the gym.  So this morning when I woke at 6am, my first thought was that I had 30mins til the gym opened.  Then I went back and forth between rest day/gym – all from the comfort of my nice warm bed…

I guess I have two main concerns about taking a rest day:

1 – if I get out of routine of going to the gym I may never go back.  Which doesn’t really seem likely given I’ve been going regularly again since August 11 but I guess everything about this journey has an underlying fear of slipping back into old ways.

2 – I don’t think I have my food (particularly on weekends) completely under control yet and going to the gym was a way of combating what I may have eaten over my calorie limit.  I guess instead of stressing about a rest day I should be focussing on my food instead.

The other thing though, is that I enjoy it.  Going to the gym does wonders for my mental health and my guilt.  Because I work so hard through the week, my weekends are spent doing jobs around the house, studying and reading.  I guess my gym sessions let me feel less guilty about not being out and about doing things.

So, I’ll take my rest day today and will re-assess next week.  Perhaps I’ll go and just walk on the treadmill rather than a full on circuit.

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5 Responses to Rest Days

  1. Helena says:

    Hey! Just saw the link to your blog on the 30+ page 🙂
    A rest day definitely doesn’t have to mean you do nothing; You could always make it more like an active recovery day, which might be an easy walk/cycle and yoga or a good stretching session?

    • jil says:

      Thanks Helena. Have taken your advice and re-thought my idea of a rest day. I do understand the logic of resting, particularly having such a bad back, but the head got in the way there for a while!

  2. I struggle with the concept of rest days as well. I’m lazy so one rest day is likely to turn into many. I think I’ll have more of a ‘soft’ day rather than a full on rest day.

    • jil says:

      That’s what worried me! I’m afraid that taking a rest day is the start of a slippery slope to laziness. Worked better for me this week cause I was travelling for work so had the rest day mid week and went hard today in the gym. But you’re right, think a soft day (ie walking outside at a mild pace) will be better for me than a rest day (sitting at home on the couch, possible eating too much). Good luck!

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