When people start on a fitness plan, they tend to go all-in at first: exercising every day, sticking to hour-long workouts, and sacrificing sleep in order to get to the gym. And while enthusiasm for your fitness plan is important, this can lead to burnout or even injury.
NASM-certified personal trainer Marci Nevin explained in an Instagram post why it’s so important to take rest days. Instead of impeding your progress, rest days actually help you heal, recover, and able to get back on track at 100 percent. “Allow your body the time it needs to rest and recover from the demands you impose upon it,” she wrote in her Instagram caption.
These are the signs Marci said that you need to take a rest from your workouts:
- You’re not sleeping well.
- You’re tired all the time.
- Your sex drive has tanked.
- You’re getting sick more often.
- You’re not enjoying your workouts.
- You’re unmotivated to work out.
- You’ve stopped making progress.
- You have a lot of aches and pains.
- Your appetite has changed.
“If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, chances are you aren’t prioritizing recovery,” Marci wrote. If any of these resonate with you, give yourself permission to take a day (or a few) days off from your typical workout routine. In fact, personal trainer Dee Gautham, NASM, told POPSUGAR that a beginner may need to take up to two or three rest days, while an experienced athlete may only need one.
So listen to your body and prioritize rest if you need it. You’ll come back to the gym even stronger than before.