Why You Should Take at Least One Rest Day a Week

Hi from Aruba!! Isaac and I are here with his brother… having an absolute blast! Since I knew I’d be busy vacationing I lined up a couple posts for you all. The first is from my dear friend Moni of Monica Nelson Fitness. She’s a celebrity trainer out of LA and just plain awesome. If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll remember her as she’s been on EBF before (namely here and here). I simply love her positive outlook and knowledgable advice. Today she’s talking about a key piece that is missing from most of our lives – true rest. 

Why You Should Take at Least One Rest Day a Week

Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” ~Benjamin Franklin

I have been a celebrity trainer, health coach and nutritional expert for a very long time. I have seen a lot, worked with all kind of stories and learned so much in all my years in my field. I also have been an accomplished athlete myself. I want to share something that I have witnessed that many people have in common. It is actually something people are missing. You might be missing it too. It is just one simple thing we are completely missing in our weekly routine that is so important for our all around health and wellness.

Want to know what I am talking about? It is a four letter word that starts with “R.” Any guess? The secret and the four letter word is: REST. Sounds easy enough right? I can promise you one thing. Hardly anyone takes good old-fashioned “REST” seriously!

You would think something that sounds so easy as “rest” would be happening all the time. Americans have a reputation as being lazy. But rest is hardly on anyone’s “to-do” list. Rest can be many things as I will explain below. It’s hard to rest with all that we have to get done in a day. I am talking about our careers, family, socializing and now that instant “must be online” mentality. Please don’t beat yourself up tough if you can really relate. We all have been here.

Why You Should Take at Least One Rest Day a Week

Today I really want to discuss how important rest days are for your workout routine but I also would like to discuss the importance of “all around” rest in general.

Some Facts to Understand:

  • Rest days keep you from overtraining, muscle injury, and fatigue. This is a fact.
  • Did you know professional long distant runners take 2 weeks off at a time to rest and recover? Bet you did not see that coming, right? This is how they get better, faster, and in return – win. They are smart enough to know if they don’t rest they can’t perform better.
  • Wise farmers use field or crop rotation so the soil can replenish for one growing season every seven years. The outcome is that the rested soil is two times more nutrient-dense than the soil that had no rest. Take this idea and NOW think about your body, mind, and spirit. Interesting right?
  • They say that 30% of our lives are spent asleep. When you realize how important sleep and rest is after this post, you will be thrilled to get that 30% if not more. (Hopefully!).
  • Every working creature needs rest. Just look at how perfect our pets are. They are living in the now with wisdom, love, happiness, stability, are friendly and what else do they do so effortlessly? They also get plenty of rest!

Eddie and Emma Resting

Busted! Practicing rest effortlessly!

There Are 2 Types Of Rest to Understand: Active and Passive.

  • Active Rest: Is your usual weekend. Watching TV, talking on the phone, maybe planting flowers, errands or playing golf, etc.
  • Passive Rest: You are not doing anything. No chores, no workouts, no playing with the kids, no cooking, no cleaning, no computer work, no recreation activities. Passive rest is when you do absolute nothing.

Now ask yourself how many days like “passive rest” do you have in your life? Exactly. Mostly likely – not one.

Rest is the most under looked and pushed to the side aspect of working out and living a healthy lifestyle. Rest helps Rejuvenate, Recover, Restore. Rest helps

Balance, Heal, and Slow the Aging Process, <— ahhh, do I have your attention now?

The easiest thing we can do in this day and age is over do it. Just look around. Everyone is over doing everything. Over eating, over shopping, over consuming, overthinking and over doing it!

Why You Should Take at Least One Rest Day a Week

Tips to Get That Proper Rest: The Prescription.

  • Try to take one full day of rest and do as close to nothing at least once a week if not more. I call it a “rest from life day.” Easier said than done (trust me I know) especially with family, but if you plan it – you can do it. Do what is only necessary on this day. Plan out what day is the most realistic and wean yourself into it. Maybe each week you get better and better at it until that once very busy day – is now your rest from life day. Before you say, “Ah, yeah right, not possible,” just keep reading.
  • We need to do this for our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. We need to reset and recharge or you will see – soon enough you will be burnt out mentally, physically, and spiritually. You may even experience adrenal fatigue, weight issues, mental issues and hormone imbalances if you don’t watch out. Do you think our ancestors had computers, social media, late night talk shows, or the news keeping them up at night? We all know what the answer to that is. What do you have to lose? You will have a better chance to a long, happy, and energetic life ahead of you. I promise.

Yoga Pose

Find a hammock, call in a massage, get out the foam roller, practice restorative yoga or catch up on your favorite reading. Also make sure you are trying your best to get the proper amount of sleep.

So there you have it. I hope you found this helpful and informative. Hopefully you can find the time to fit in that much needed rest day. These tips have not only helped myself but continue to really help my clients and why they get such great results too.

I would love to hear from you on what are your favorite ways to stay balanced and restful are. See you in the hammock (or a beach chair). 

Monica Nelson is a celebrity trainer, chef, accomplished athlete, model and much loved health and fitness expert based in LA. She inspires her clients to look and feel their best with her life motto: Eat Well. Stay Fit. Feel Great.

One of her greatest passions is cooking and the talented Moni loves to whip up healthy and decadent meals for her readers to enjoy. On any given day you can find her training her clients, being creative in the kitchen, at the beach, out for a bike ride with her husband or catching big air on her snowboard. Make friends with Moni on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Grab a recipe or two at monimeals.com before you head over for a quick workout at monicanelsonfitness.com.

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    • I usually take a rest day on Saturday. But considering my physical job is 6 days a week now I felt guilty taking that rest day. However. The dishes can wait, the urge that I must get things done has to subside. My body needs to rejuvenate so I will incorporate my home tasks throughout the week so anxiety over it won’t interfere with my rest day.

  1. I needed this today.
    I’ve been struggling with being spread too thin recently. There are too many things going on and I need to slow down and start pressing “pause”. We just had a 3-day weekend and I had things to do EVERY DAY. I know my body well enough to know I need frequent breaks.

    I will try to plan a “rest day” for next weekend (this weekend is already a write-off of course) and see how that feels. I am already looking forward to it 🙂

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