Should You Be Taking Rest Days? (The Answer Is Yes. Here’s Why.)

If you’re on a health journey, you may feel like you have to show up in activity every single day. It may feel like if you skip a day or take time to reset, you’ll undo all the progress you’ve made.


I’m here to tell you: that’s not true.


In fact, rest days are imperative to your progress. Not only do they give your body a chance to recover, repair, and replenish energy, they also reset your mind so you don’t burn out. Too much of even a good thing can sometimes be too much.

How To Make Your Rest Day Work For You


There are a few ways to handle rest days, but the important factor is to be intentional about them. If you don’t have an idea of how you’d like to spend your rest day, you may end up scrolling social media or mindlessly bouncing from one TV show to another. At the end of a day like that, it’s possible you’ll feel that your rest day was wasted and then guilty feelings may creep in. So although you’re certainly free to flow with where the day takes you, having some sort of general plan for it may help you feel secure in taking time out.


Active Rest Days


I believe that movement clears the cobwebs out of your mind and soul, so I tend to move my body every day, in some way. Maybe it’s a walk in nature or a gentle swim. Maybe it’s a light hike, short bike ride, or a juicy stretch. These are all great activities to keep your body humming on rest days while still breaking from a regular workout routine. Anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes is great. Do what feels good to you and drop into the movement, being fully present and reminding your body this is one way you can show it love.


Intentional Non-Movement Rest Days


Maybe you’ve had a particularly busy week or maybe your body is truly craving downtime. There is nothing wrong with taking a siesta. Naps can be so restorative! Just be sure not to sleep so long that you’re not tired enough to go to sleep at night.


You may also want to use your rest day for deeper meditation, gratitude journaling, or other inner work. Maybe you want to meal prep so you’re set up for success during the week ahead. Reading an inspirational book or soaking in a luxurious, healing bath with Epsom salts and essential oils are other options. The sky is the limit here, so get creative. 


Make Rest Days YOUR Days


However you choose to spend your rest days (maybe you do one or a combination of the things I’ve talked about above), be sure not to rush through your activities just to feel like you can check them off. Take your rest days seriously and acknowledge they — like more intense movement and healthy eating — are a form of self-love and self-care. Rest days are meant to be healing and if you can approach them with that intention, I have no doubt you’ll get the most out of them. Enjoy! 


Next Steps


If you’d like even more guidance on how to create and nurture your healthiest life, I invite you to join my exclusive membership community, Fit Rise 365, risk-free. Just visit the link to see if access to hundreds of recipes, workouts, and meditations feel right for you and if this lifestyle calls to you, I’d love to welcome you in. 



You may also be interested in:

7 Signs You Need More Sleep And Why It Wrecks Your Waistline

5 Ways to Sleep Well (after a late night workout)

Breathing Techniques for Relaxation