During the lockdown, you might have gotten yourself into an iron-clad workout routine that you never break. Or, maybe now that there’s a vaccine, you’ve returned to the gym after a long sabbatical and are excited about being back in a routine. It’s great to be in a regular routine, so congratulate yourself for that. But you should also be mindful that sometimes your body needs a break… and your mind might, too.
Live Strong notes that giving your body a break allows your muscles recovery time: that’s why you don’t hit the same muscles day after day in the gym. Strength and endurance gains actually happen during recovery, not in the gym. If you work out regularly, taking a day off from the gym each week gives your body a well-deserved break.
Athletes and people recovering from vigorous training or difficult events can benefit from taking a week off from the gym. But it can help average people as well, and it could be a good opportunity to try out other forms of exercise, like yoga or swimming (if you have access to a pool or other safe body of water).
Sometimes, working out is a great stress reliever. But, as NBC writes, if your schedule is overloaded, the stress starts to take a toll mentally and physically. This is an important time to really listen to your body. Working out in this scenario can lead to added stress on the body and can lead to your overall stress-load increasing. For some people, this can actually exacerbate symptoms. They also note that you should prioritize sleep over working out when you’re sleep-deprived. You should also skip the gym when you’re overly sore or if you’re feeling sick.
As Men’s Health points out, Most injuries happen when people are tired and/or distracted during their workouts, so that’s something to keep in mind, and to prioritize over bragging about never missing a day.