when to take a guilt-free rest day

I’m writing this post to you from my couch, where I’ve been planted all morning catching up on the Bachelor in Paradise and reflecting on my goals for the next month. I’ve been feeling extra exhausted lately and started my period this morning so that would explain why!

Even though I’m technically starting the second round of my bootcamp program with my accountability group this week, I’ve already taken an extra rest day on Monday and decided to skip my workout again today because I honestly just don’t have the energy to push through an intense bootcamp right now. 

I used to feel guilty for taking extra rest days, like I was letting myself down or failing for not perfectly following through on my plan. I know you’re a fellow overachiever and probably feel the same way. Maybe you even throw in the towel and give up if you can’t be perfect with a fitness program, which sends you down the cycle of self doubt and affects your belief in yourself to follow through with hard things.

But lately I’m learning how to listen to my body and figure out when it’s time to push through, and when it’s time to rest.

As women, our bodies operate on a cyclical pattern and it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to show up for hard workouts at our max capacity day in and day out without a break to let our energy and bodies rest and repair.

So next time you’re feeling exhausted, burned out, or have been working out intensely for several days in a row, give yourself a permission slip to take a rest day guilt-free, even if it's not on your plan.

You aren’t doing anything wrong. In fact, listening to your body and trusting the messages it’s sending you is absolutely and always the right decision.

But yes, I know there are also times when you really do need to push through.

How to tell if you need a rest day or if you’re just making excuses?

Take this quiz!

Should you take a rest day or push through your workout?

  • How many workouts have you done this week?

    • If it’s 4-6+, a rest day is probably beneficial to your muscles

  • Are you physically tired, or just mentally/emotionally tired?

    • If the resistance in your head or you're just feeling lazy, a workout will give you energy!

  • Where are you at in your cycle?

    • If it’s the first week or two, you have energy to burn. If it’s the days leading up to your period, your energy will start to dip so do something less intense like yoga or a walk, or take extra rest.

  • What’s your history of showing up and following through for the goals you set for yourself?

    • If you tend to fall off track or give up easily, push through and keep your groove alive! If you know you can motivate yourself and will have more energy to bounce back, take the rest.

Whether or not you’re working out, remember that what you eat affects weight loss or physical changes in your body even more than your workouts, so focus on your nutrition and make sure you’re fueling your body with healthy, whole foods!

If you need some new recipes or a meal planning system that will save you hours every week and keep you on track, click here to download my FREE Meal Planning Magic e-book.

In the meantime, keep trusting your body! It's wiser than any cookie cutter plan.

xo Anna