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Taking a Break from Working Out

Taking a Break from Working Out

For exercise freaks, taking a break from working out may seem like a sin. Hence they may never take a break from their exercise routine. So, should you, or should you not take time off from exercising? Let's find an answer ...
Bhakti Satalkar
Ann has been working out very hard for more than 4 months without any break. She does cardio on three days and weight training on the other three. She also does yoga or Pilate's once a week. All these days, she enjoyed her routine, however for the last few days she has been feeling very tired and her body is sore all the time. She says she can't think of taking a break from working out, she does not like it. She cannot cheat on the way to her fitness goal.

John is a veteran exerciser. He never skips his workout, even when he is traveling. He always carries his shoes and some basic equipment with himself. However, one day he woke up totally exhausted. He had a very stressful week and he just could not push himself physically out of the bed. His brain was telling him to wake up and hit the gym, but his body was telling him otherwise. John never thought of taking a break from exercise, as he thought giving his exercise regime a break meant ruining his day.

I am sure some of you can relate with either of the stories. Well, you are not the only one who frets at the idea of skipping a workout. There are many people with similar thoughts out there. The reasons for not taking a break are numerous. Some of them are:
  • They may gain weight if they skip their workout.
  • Going off track in their workout regime is another reason people do not want to skip their workout.
  • Some people feel guilty if they miss their exercise routine.
  • There are some people who are scared of failure, hence they believe it is not possible to take a break from exercising.
  • People who are on a weight loss program have the fear of not progressing in their workout.
  • Some people, (like John in our story above) believe they will ruin their week or day if they do not workout.
  • There are people who need to get their dose of feel good hormones, so they workout religiously.
Now that we have seen the many reasons why people avoid taking a break from their workout, let's see why it is important to take a break.

Why Take a Break from Working Out

Skipping a workout is advisable for people who are regular with working out and not for people who deliberately avoid and skip their workout regime for trivial reasons. It is important to take a break from working out, as exercising builds and works on the muscles in our body. When you are working out, there is wear and tear of these muscles. Hence, the muscles need time and rest to repair themselves. After taking some rest, the body is stronger than before and also raring to go. There are three components which play an important role in muscle building. They are cardiovascular exercises, weight training, and the third one is the most ignored, which is rest.

How to Take a Break from Working Out

So when should you take a break from working out? Well, the answer is whenever your body asks you to. There are times when the body is giving us small cues, like when the body is totally fatigued and cannot go any further. At all such times, you should listen to your body and simply take a break.

It is also important to understand, how long should the break be. Each person has a different endurance capacity. Hence, you will see that some people workout hard for two days and then take a break on the alternate day. There are others who workout and rest on alternate days. Some people take one break per week. At the same time, there are also people who work out for weeks on end and then take a week off from working out.

Taking a break from working out will fully charge you and you will be raring to go when you hit the gym next. However, it is also important that you eat well, during this break. It is necessary, as your body needs nutrients for healing purposes. Take a break guys! Its important!