Should I Take Multiple Rest Days?

Motivational Exercise Poster


Any of you Rock Heads ever do this? You’re having a busy couple of days so you skip your workout. Fast forward and you realize you haven’t even looked at your running shoes in a week and a half. I’m sure lots of you know this: once you stopping working out, it becomes MUCH harder to get back into it. Now the New York Times points out that taking these long breaks away from exercising affects more than just willpower.

Motivation Via T-RexWe all know that a workout boosts your metabolism and improves other health indicators. But, if you don’t exercise for several days, those benefits like improved bloodsugar control and blood pressure, can disappear. Dr. Michael Joyner, a physiologist at the Mayo Clinic, says, “There is good data in animals,” he says, ”showing that when running wheels are locked,” and the animals can’t exercise, “the positive metabolic aspects of training start to dissipate within days.”

How about motivation? Is what we’ve experienced just unique to us? No, says the Times. “In study after study, researchers have found that one of the primary reasons people continue exercising is that they enjoyed yesterday’s exercise or the exertions of the day before; they felt healthier and more physically masterful afterward and wish to relive that sensation. Longer periods between exercise sessions potentially could dull that enthusiasm…The key is probably to not miss more than two days in a row,” Dr. Joyner says, “and skipping only one day is even better.”

If you can help, you really don’t want to miss more than a few days in a row. If you’re having trouble finding the motivation, think about the health benefits you’re losing. It’s not impossible to fit an exercise routine into your schedule, even if you can’t make it to the gym. Make a workout calendar. Workout at work. Or workout at home with YouTube! Don’t have much time? It’s ok, there are ways to burn 100 calories in 10 minutes! How do you fit exercise into your schedule? Let me know in the comments!

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