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Rest days from the gym/fitness - do you take them and what do you do?

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    Rest days from the gym/fitness - do you take them and what do you do?

    After doing something physical for the past two weeks in a row, I decided to sleep in this morning and just have a day of rest. Trouble is I feel incredibly guilty for doing so. As though I let myself down and I should have gotten up this morning and dragged my ass to the gym.

    Do you guys experience this? Are any of you taking rest days or are you doing something physical daily? And if you are taking rest days are they truly rest days, as in you just work, sit on the couch, eat, and that's it?

    #2
    When I was rowing in college we would work out 1 to 3 times per day, six days a week, for nine months of the year and then take summers "off" by working out 3 to 5 times per week. This will make you fast, but it is a recipe for injury and exhaustion. Your body needs rest. If you are working out hard then you should include an appropriate amount of rest in your workout program. If you don't have a program, then get on one and stick with it.

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      #3
      Originally posted by DocDave View Post
      After doing something physical for the past two weeks in a row, I decided to sleep in this morning and just have a day of rest. Trouble is I feel incredibly guilty for doing so. As though I let myself down and I should have gotten up this morning and dragged my ass to the gym.

      Do you guys experience this? Are any of you taking rest days or are you doing something physical daily? And if you are taking rest days are they truly rest days, as in you just work, sit on the couch, eat, and that's it?
      I don't think of them as "rest days" but as recovery days. That means not sitting on your butt all day, but actively engaging in your own recovery, including mobility practice (stretching, rolling, yoga) and light(er) physical activity like walking, swimming, rowing, biking, etc. Since it sounds like you are doing a lot of running I'd probably look into something like yoga that is simultaneously low-impact on your joints as well as helps you develop flexibility and stability through those same joints. Personally I like to take about an hour long brisk walk on my non-gym days. That's in addition to doing some routine stretching and foam rolling/targeted lacrosse ball work.

      You can also engage in more passive forms of recovery like receiving massage or doing heat/cold therapy such as a hot water soak, sauna, etc.

      Diet-wise, you can reduce your simple carb intake on recovery days since you mostly need them for energy before, during, and after a workout. If you're not burning those carbs as energy, your body will convert them into glycogen and then into fat since the body has a limited capacity to store unused glycogen.
      Ben

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        #4
        LISS: Low Intensity Steady State: Walks, Cycling or exercise bike, etc.

        Walking and listening to a podcast is my jam. A nice 30-45 minute walk, or 25 minutes on the Airdyne.
        We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” ― Charles Bukowski

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          #5
          I rest on Monday's and Friday's...I hardly get in 5,000 steps on those days. A true sloth.

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            #6
            I take my rest days pretty much any day of the week...and usually consecutively. What I mean to say is I do nothing.

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              #7
              Originally posted by idvsego View Post
              I take my rest days pretty much any day of the week...and usually consecutively. What I mean to say is I do nothing.
              I like to take rest weeks sometimes. If I had a particularly hard day, maybe a rest month.

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                #8
                It kind of depends on what the physical activity is. If you're running a mile a day, you don't need a rest day. If you're running a power lifting cycle and doing HIT workouts in between, then you probably need a rest day. But I agree with [MENTION=2341]LesserBlackDog[/MENTION] about rest days, I usually think of them as active recovery days. Usually some light stretching and just some type of movement to keep the muscles moving.

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                  #9
                  No, I don't. 95% of us don't do enough activity to really warrant about excessive wear and tear, thereby needing recovery days. But as [MENTION=2341]LesserBlackDog[/MENTION] highlighted there are days where the volume and activity types may change.

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                    #10
                    I go to a standard Crossfit workout usually 4-5 days per week, which is almost always a dynamic warm-up, strength piece, and a conditioning workout that lasts anywhere from 6-18 minutes. I definitely feel the need for rest days more than others, but I do try to at least do stretching (RomWod is my current routine) even on days I'm not working out, and trying to move more, even if its just walking.

                    As an in between, like yesterday for example, my knee and hips were feeling the previous few days' workouts, so I went in and did a mile walk, only with an 80 lbs sandbag on my shoulders, and did some other accessory work after for core and grip strength. Not that I enjoy feeling my age some days, but it is nice to occasionally devote a session to stuff that isn't usually worked on directly in class and that allows for working on fitness that doesn't stress the sore bits.

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