The idea of getting fitter by hanging up your bike, putting away your running shoes, and letting dust gather on your yoga mat might seem crazy, but taking time away from the workouts you love might actually make you better, faster, stronger and happier in the long run. Here are 10 of the top reasons to take a few days off from exercise from Bicycling:
Take time to address stress
Having a jam-packed schedule of exercise in addition to your other commitments can lead to serious stress- whether you realize it or not. Use this exercise-free week to focus on family, work, household chores, etc. When you do pick back up your routine, you’ll have a better grasp on your priorities and balancing life.
Catch up on sleep
Skip that early morning run and wake up at normal-person hours just for this week. Bicycling quotes a study that shows if you’re consistently only getting six hours of sleep a night, you’re functioning as poorly as someone who’s hasn’t gotten any sleep for two consecutive nights, even if you seem to feel fine. Test the theory: If you normally sleep six hours per night and exercise for an hour each day, shift that hour to give you seven in bed. Throughout the week, identify ways to keep that extra hour of sleep once you’ve added exercise back into your routine.
Avoid workout burnout
No matter how much you love to bike, run or work out, any activity done over and over can lead to burnout. A few days away from your sport will only make getting back to it seem better. Look at it this way: jumping in the cold pool after you’ve been in the hot tub can be a bit miserable. But once you get back in the hot tub, it feels so much better than before. Use this break to get re-excited about the sport you love.
Stretch it out
Your muscles need a break just as much as you do. Use a foam roller, get a massage or hit up a yoga class to make your muscles happy this week. They work hard!