There are two reasons that you might need a break from your workout. The first is that you haven’t given your body adequate time for recovery between sessions and it’s taken its toll. You’re out of sorts, cranky, exhausted and running on empty. Instead of busting stress, the workout is creating it and leaving you feeling worse afterward. You need at least one to two days of rest with no heavy exercise so your body has a time to mend.
If you’ve hit the wall, give yourself permission to take it easy for a day or two.
Instead of doing your normal routine, spend the time walking in the park, away from the gym. You can do stretches or other flexibility exercises that won’t task your body, but it does need rest. Burn out is the quickest way to end an exercise program, so take this time off so you can come back refreshed and ready to go.
If you have pain, not just aches, you need to take time to investigate the cause.
You’ll notice the difference between pain and aches. One is unbearable. I had a wrist injury that took months to heal when I first started out because I didn’t give that muscle a chance to heal. I kept pushing through thinking it was just minor, until I could take the pain no longer. It took months before I could do the movement without pain even after resting. Stop when you feel pain. Normally, it will be in just one muscle group, so you can switch to a different type of exercise and give those muscles a rest.
You may not hate all exercise, just the ones you’re doing.
That’s typical if you’re working out at a box gym where you go from machine to machine and possibly do a few body weight exercises or lifts. It’s time to add some variety to your workout. That’s why I love mixing workouts with kickboxing. Kickboxing is a complete exercise but it’s fun. If you workout one day and kickbox the next workout, you’ll get good results but you won’t get bored. Vary your workout or it will turn to drudgery. Remember, active sports and dancing are good exercise too.
- When you start to notice you’re not focused, take a day off and go for a brisk walk. You’ll get the exercise you need and come back to the gym renewed.
- Work with a personal trainer who will vary your workouts and make sure you do enough to get maximum benefits, but not so much as to leave you burnt out.
- Change things up a bit and go to the gym with a partner. It makes it more social and more fun.
- See a doctor if you have chronic pain from working out or can’t shake that tired, exhausted feeling even after a rest from the gym.