Following a consistent workout schedule is awesome. But keep in mind that consistency doesn’t mean the same thing as working out every single day.
A solid workout routine includes both training and rest days. Some prefer the “three on, one off” approach, where you work out three days and then take the fourth day off. Others have found success with a similar training-rest pattern. The main thing to know is that going too long without a rest day can lead to overtraining, injury and lack of motivation.
So how do you know when it’s time to take a day off? Here are some signs that it might be time for a rest day:
1. Something is always sore.
Feeling sore after a tough workout isn’t uncommon. However, ongoing pain or discomfort with no sign of your soreness subsiding is something to pay attention to. If you only wake up feeling sore or worn down, it might be time for a rest day.
2. The bad days begin to pile up.
Have you ever had a string of bad days at the gym? No matter how hard you work or how much effort you put out, there’s just no gas in the tank. And even an “easy” workout feels hard. Rather than taking this as a sign that you’ve lost fitness, it’s more likely that you need some extra recovery time.
3. Your resting heart rate goes up.
Your resting heart rate is often a telltale sign that you need a rest day. If you regularly track your resting heart rate, either manually or with a smartwatch, you’ll start to notice trends over time. An elevated resting heart rate that stands out from previous days can be a sign to take a rest day.
4. You’re extra tired, or your sleep is all messed up.
Stress messes with your sleep patterns. When it comes to physical stress, your body can’t really tell the difference between life stress and training stress. When you’ve had several tough workouts back-to-back, it can affect the quality of your sleep. Taking a day off can give your body a chance to recover and reset so that you’re able to get a good night’s sleep. And, you’ll show up rested to your next workout.
5. You’re off your mental game.
Sometimes a lack of rest shows up in your mood or general mental outlook. Many athletes know they need a rest day when they get cranky for seemingly no reason. If your mood seems off, you’re irritable or you’re more stressed than usual, it can be a sign that your body needs to take a day to recover.
Everyone handles training and rest differently. The best thing you can do is pay attention to your body and how you react to your workouts. Good recovery is where gains happen, so if you need the rest, then take it.
Are you interested in making classes at Rhapsody Fitness part of your workout routine? To learn more about Rhapsody Fitness in Charleston and our range of programs, get in touch with Team Rhapsody today.