Monday, September 6, 2010

Resting on this Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!
Hopefully today can be spent outside of work, relaxing with friends and family, and enjoying a labor-free day. Days of rest are extremely important and in our hurry to accomplish more, and do more always, they often get brushed aside. No one wants to be perceived as lazy, and we must always be on, on, on, going, going, going.
There was a point in my life when I worked out 7 days a week. I wouldn't let myself take a day off, because I felt guilty skipping a workout. Needless to say, it was draining, and stripped all the joy and fun I had originally found in my activity out of it. Going to the gym become a drag and a chore, and I found that I wasn't able to put my best effort into my workouts. One day I fought this compulsion to exercise, and took the day off. I tried to push away the feelings of guilt and laziness, and occupy myself with other things. It was to my surprise that the next day, rather than losing all of my strength and turning into a pile of fat, I was much more energized, and had a fantastic workout.
I began to repeat this cycle and found a brand new appreciation for days of rest.
Our bodies work hard every day, and without rest they begin to wear down. Besides feeling lethargic, if you don't rest as an athlete you risk developing over-training syndrome. Without taking a day to rest and let your muscles repair, rebuild and strengthen you are at high risk for developing muscle strains, and other injuries, which will have you off your feet for much longer. There are also psychological benefits, in that rest days can help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals.
So this Labor Day, and at least once a week, I hope you can find time to rest. Giving yourself permission to jump off the go-bandwagon just for a short while will have you feeling more energetic and excited about life once you get back on.

I dare you to:
-Give yourself permission to relax, recharge and rest.
-Let go of your fear of rest, remove the guilt from treating your body with respect.
-Take a moment to take a deep breath and appreciate all that you have worked so hard for and received.
-Instead of staring at the computer screen, take a few minutes to rest your eyes, perhaps even meditate.
-Show your body some love by taking time for it, and allowing it to rest.

Enjoy your day of rest!


  1. I love this... After reading this TDAY and dressed in gym cloths I took them off and took a nap instead.... Thank you for showing me giving myself permission to rest is ok!!

  2. I have definitely suffered from a lack of rest and a lack of allowing myself rest in the past - and I usually ended up burnt out and with injuries. As I currently train for a race in October, I've been taking rest very seriously. I don't push myself harder than what I know I should do and I make sure to really take off off-days. It makes a world of difference in my attitude and in my running! I think it's also important to translate this philosophy to other areas of life as well. I love what you say about "remove the guilt of treating your body with respect."