The Importance of Rest Days

Our FitStudio chat last night on Twitter focused on the importance of rest days.  There were a lot of jokes in the stream about burnt out Moms trying to balance work/workouts/family and it struck a chord with me.  Why is finding time to rest so hard to do?


We all know we need enough sleep or our bodies go haywire.  Studies have shown that lack of sleep can slow down our metabolism, increase our risk of illness and injury, and make us a lot less likely to workout.  Nevermind that we’re cranky, have food cravings, and, if in even light sleep dep, can be the equivalent of legally drunk.

Everyone is a little bit different but for the most part we need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.  For most people the easiest solution is to turn off the TV and go to bed.  Yet even I find myself occasionally up late, staring at the TV watching garbage.  Tuck yourself in and your next day will be so much better.

Workout Rest

You should train, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, “most” days of the week for at least 30 minutes.  This is the best way to stay slim, avoid or delay several major causes of death, have a positive attitude, and stay injury free.  Rest from either cardio workouts or resistance training is crucial.  Our bodies, just like our minds, need downtime.  Try to take a break at least one day a week and, if your body is asking for it, give it two.

You can also train lightly on some days.  For instance, you could do a leisurely stroll to run an errand instead of a three-mile run.  You’re still moving but it’s not as taxing on the body.  Here’s my best advice for healthy living and it includes lots of rest.

Digital Rest

Okay, so I know you’re looking at a computer screen right now, but how often do you untether yourself from the ‘net? I’m afraid to tally up my daily screen time for fear that it is actually longer than I sleep.  Yes, my job is to write a lot and I manage my Pilates studio with a great software program, but I really do spend a lot of time looking at my laptop screen.

Lately I’ve been unplugging much more on the weekends and it’s made a big difference in my outlook.  I come back to blogging and social media AND my studio refreshed and ready to go.  I also find great ideas will come to me about my career/business when I’m not plugged in.

You should unplug an hour before bedtime to help your system wind down and consider one day a week that’s completely free of all devices with an on/off switch.  You’ll feel so much better.

I’ve got a few more ideas for sleeping well.  Do you get enough of all the different kinds of rest out there?  Does talking about it make you anxious because you know you’re not getting enough?

Would love to hear how you’re doing,