“All your enemies
Smile when you fall.
You take it ‘cause you
Don’t know what you want.”
–The Black Keys, “Nova Baby”
Miles Last Week: 34.5
Total Miles: 806
Going to the gym has become enough of a routine that I feel a bit of guilt if I have to miss a day. When that inevitable twinge starts to nag my mind, I tell myself two things:
Working out every single day does more harm than good.
A simple Internet search will lead you to dozens and dozens of articles about why rest days are beneficial (like this one, this one, this one, and this one), but they all boil down to one thing: your body will thank you for it. Neglecting proper rest can cause a mountain of problems–elevated resting heart rate, exhaustion (mental and physical), dehydration, and injury exacerbation–but taking a day off every week gives your muscles a chance to heal after the beating they take the other six days of the week.
You deserve it.
There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a break after you’ve been working hard. It may feel selfish, but it’s a lesson we all have to learn. And if taking a weekly rest day is actually good for your fitness goals, who are we to argue with the science? Don’t argue. Just prop your feet up and enjoy it.
Of course, while we can definitely embrace the relaxation of a rest day, we can’t exactly play fast and loose with them. Once or twice a week is fine, but any more than that would likely be counterproductive. I’m no expert, but it seems logical.
I’ve used rest days for everything from catching up on television to getting the oil changed in my car to attending a writing conference this past weekend. The more miles I rack up, the more I recognize how important those weekly rest days are. I feel better when I take them, and you will, too. Science demands it. So does this puppy.