{Guest Post} Give Yourself Some Rest

October 11, 2013

I am SO excited to share my little space on the blogosphere today with one of my favourite bloggers, Heather from Mrs. Murphy’s Law of Fitness. Heather has quickly become my fitness guru and go-to blog for smiles…I mean how could you not feel happier just looking at her beautiful baby boy Joseph? 
When my injury started to resurface a few weeks ago I reached out to Heather for some tips on how to take a break from fitness. I seem to have no problem finding the motivation to workout, but taking the time to rest my body is far more of a challenge. If you’re anything like me it’s easy to get caught up in the world of fitness and forget that rest is equally as important for you as exercise. 
I had a few questions of my own for Heather and she was so helpful that I thought all of you might learn a thing or two from what she had to share. Take it away Heather!
Hey all you party people. It’s Friday! I am so glad I get to hang with you guys on one of the best days of the week. Davida must really like me.
I am Heather and I blog over at Mrs. Murphy’s Law of Fitness. I am a Certified Personal Trainer and I love a killer workout that requires me to push my body and mind to the limit. No one can deny that these workouts make you feel like a superhero, but it is crucial to take care of your body with this type of training.
I want to talk to you guys about the significance of scheduling rest into your routine.
It is important to allow a day of rest after working a certain muscle or body part. 
For example, if you worked your back and biceps one day, work your legs the next day.
Full body workouts should be followed by a day of rest. It would be acceptable to work your abs and do some cardio, but your muscles need time to repair so you actually reap the benefits from all your hard work.
I like having one rest day a week because my workouts are intense and I do not want to risk overtraining.  I also want to make sure my muscles have time to repair and grow.
Is it okay to take a week off from training?
Absolutely. Sometimes our bodies and brains are so worn out that a measly day of rest will not cut it. If you find yourself with a recurring injury, you can’t seem to work up enough steam for exercise, or you have hit a plateau, it might be time for a week of healing and giving your body some TLC.
A week of rest provides longevity and will help with preventing an injury.
It helps with a plateau by letting the small muscle tears that never get a chance to repair to do so, thus building that muscle and allowing new tears to be made, which means more muscle growth!   
Listening to your body is CRUCIAL when training at a high intensity and it will tell you when you need that extra time off, so please be mindful.
Thanks for hanging out with me today and I hope you all have a relaxing weekend! 
Isn’t she the best? I could not agree more with Heather about listening to your body. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling too tired to workout. Sometimes you just gotta give yourself a break! 
Head on over to Mrs. Murphy’s Law of Fitness and give my girl Heather some love 🙂
Do you schedule rest days? How many do you typically take? Have you ever taken an extended break from fitness?


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  • Reply
    October 11, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Yay! Awesome guest post. I take 1-2 rest days a week also and they definitely help keep me from getting burned out!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @
    October 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Great post Heather!

    I don’t schedule rest days – I just take them when I need them or when I’m too busy to workout, which is anywhere from 1 to 3 days per week. And if I end up working out 5 to 6 days in a row, I always make sure that at least one of those workouts is lower intensity, like an easy bike ride ride or long walk. I’ve learned from trial and error that my body just can’t handle multiple days of intense exercise!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 1:23 am

      Thanks! Since having my son I don’t usually have to schedule them either because I usually get too busy to work out 6+ days in a row! I think it definitely takes trial and error to figure out what your body can handle. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Kierston @candyfit
    October 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    My plan is to take a rest week next week 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee
    October 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I seriously needed this today. I had a far from stellar run this morning and cut it short because my knees were really bothering me. This hasn’t happened before and I’m nervous because my half is next weekend. Am I ready for it? Should I stop and take a week of rest? Not sure.

    • Reply
      Megan (The Lyons Share)
      October 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      I’m certainly not an expert (so maybe Heather will respond!) but if I were you, I would get in as much rest as possible this week. You are DEFINITELY ready, and any training you would do in the week leading up to the half would not be worth further injury, and really wouldn’t help much anyway. I always say that going into a race over-rested is better than over-trained. But, unless the pain during the race is really bad, I would still say go for the race – you’ve worked so hard for it! Just listen to your body and know that if your knees are hurting during the race and you have to drop out, there WILL be so many other races!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 1:31 am

      You are pretty much dead on Megan! I would take two or three days off and then then try again. If this is the only time it has happened your knees could have just needed a couple days to rest. You have worked hard and I think you are ready, and Megan is right, there is no need to push yourself too hard this week because you have already done the training. Just take it easy and see how your knee feels, but don’t stress about it. You will know if your knee can handle next weekend or not. I hope you start feeling better and both of you girls have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Em Kathryn
    October 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I’m on extended rest right now after marathon training. It’s been a little over a month and I’m just healing my IT band and getting healthy (got sick). I think rest is super important! Even when I was training I rested at least 2 days a week. I find I’m actually a better runner when I take the time to rest 🙂

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 1:36 am

      It’s funny how different everyone’s body is, and this means everyone needs something different. but we still compare ourselves to others. It’s great that you have listened to your body and now know exactly what you need to be the best you can be! Keep it up and have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles
    October 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I’ve been having a crappy week mentally, and I’ve consistently felt tired so I just…haven’t run. For about 9 days straight now. Which hasn’t happened since last May, when I got injured. There are times when feelings of guilt or insecurity or “am I getting a little more fluffy?” pop up, but I always know in the long run that after having been through the consistent mileage I have for the past 4-5 months, both my body and my mind need a good break!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 1:42 am

      You are so right- our minds need just as much of a break as our bodies and I think we neglect it sometimes because your mind doesn’t tell us when we need to rest it just starts going crazy! 🙂 I always get the feeling of losing muscle or gaining weight when I have an extended break, but I just have to look at the big picture and remind myself what is best for me in the long run. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    October 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I could literally take about three rest days for every one exercise day. I’m not sure if I need it, or I just need more motivation. I really like the idea of changing up workouts and doing different parts of the body on different days. That both helps to break things up and keep them interesting, and it means you give other parts of your body the RNR that they need. Great post, Heather!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 1:51 am

      Thanks girl! I love having days dedicated to certain body parts because you reduce the risk of injury, it allows that muscle to rest and you won’t get bored as easily! Have a great weekend Amy!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I agree! Rest can be hard, but it’s so important. Happy Friday!

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Almond Eater
    October 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Ahh I love this. I’m currently trying to take it easy because my lower back pain is getting worse and my hips/IT band are extremely tight. Lots of stretching and foam rolling happening. Normally, though, I do schedule 1-2 rest days per week to let my muscles recoup.

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:01 am

      Do you normally have lower back pain? I would recommend doing some glute activating exercises before your workouts. This will allow those muscles to ‘wake up’ and and your body won’t rely on your lower back as much. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    October 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    I am horribly guilty for not taking rest days. I just have SO MUCH ENERGY that I can’t stand still!!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Mrs. Murphy!! Just popped over to this blog for the first time so I’m glad I’m getting to meet you as well as Davida! I really try to listen to my body – and my schedule! If I’m feeling good and I have the time, I workout….if not, tomorrow’s another day! And I totally follow your first tip – if I worked legs today I’m not going to work them tomorrow! 🙂
    -Sammy @

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:04 am

      Hi Sammy, that’s great that you don’t stress out if you don’t get to workout one day because you are right tomorrow is another day and it’s not the end of the world!

  • Reply
    Mary Frances McNellis
    October 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Rest days often happen because I run out of time, not because I’m tired … I tend to feel like I need to do something and so I do, but I’m listening to my head, not my body. I need to do more specific workouts because I probably over do legs. Thanks for this post!

  • Reply
    Christa @ Sit-ups and Sequins
    October 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    This is one of this things I struggle with the most. Like you, I love a killer workout so I really have to force myself to take a rest day. I know this now because I’ve had a recurring hamstring issue on and off for about a year now and I’m pretty positive it’s really just a result of over training. I know now that one day off (or more!) won’t kill me or make me gain 10 pounds instantly. Haha 🙂 I usually don’t schedule rest days but usually end up taking them in the middle of the week or after a leg day when I know I will be super sore.

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:10 am

      I schedule them sometimes, but since having Joseph I normally just don’t have time one or two days a week so they end up being my rest days! 🙂 It’s hard to be on a consistent schedule with a little one running around! I still struggle with the mental aspect of taking breaks- I know I won’t gain weight or lose muscle that quickly, and I just have to keep reminding myself that!

  • Reply
    Sandra from
    October 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    You speak from my heart – today I would have gone to my fitness class. I can’t go. I’m ill. In fact I couldn’t go to any class this week and it’s so frustrating! I am walking though 😉 so that gives me a little peace. Thanks for being so honest and for sharing your playlist – I’m listening to it as we speak 🙂 Love it!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    The upward dog pic with your baby… to die for! So sweet. Rest is so important as I have recently discovered, and it’s not an end-all or means of fitness destruction. Really, the opposite. You speak the truth!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:12 am

      Thanks! I used to hate taking pictures, but there cannot possibly be a bad one with Joseph in it. 😉 Rest goes hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes we forget that!

  • Reply
    Sarah Cook
    October 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Those pics are too cute! I love it.
    I used to stress out about taking a day off but have realized the importance of rest over time. Over-training can be just as unhealthy as not training at all.

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:15 am

      Thank you! It can definitely by hard to take rest days, but once you realize how critical it is to your health and fitness it gets a little easier. Have a great weekend Sarah!

  • Reply
    Heather Wilson
    October 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Awesome guest post!! : )

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    October 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Awesome post – rest is so, so important! I take anywhere from 1-3 days off a week from workouts, and schedule a ‘deload’ (complete rest week) a few times a year. I know my body appreciates it, and it needs rest if I want to actually see some results!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:27 am

      Your body definitely needs it so you can progress with training and reach your goals! I think some people forget, or don’t realize that you are breaking down muscle when working out and BUILDING it up when resting! It definitely sounds like you listen to your body and it will pay off. Have a great weekend girl!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Great tips! I’ve been known to work out too much…yes, there is such a thing. People say eat in moderation (which I agree with) and I think that should apply to exercise. It’s a healthy habit, but resting is also a healthy time for your body. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Tina at

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:31 am

      No problem! I feel like people just don’t realize how important it is, thus neglect to do it. Resting and training definitely compliment each other! 🙂

  • Reply
    Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen
    October 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Awesome post! I’m all about listening to your body and knowing when to relax. Hope you both have a wonderful weekend!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:33 am

      Thanks! Once you make it a priority to listen to your body, the easier it gets! I feel like I really only started to when I was pregnant and I realized I HAD to for me and my baby. Enjoy your weekend Alex!

  • Reply
    Jay Floyd
    October 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I have ths same problems. When I came up lame with a bad shoulder, it was SO hard for me to back off and give it a rest and let it heal. I love the tips on just taking time to rest. After all, this is a journey and not a destination, right?

  • Reply
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs
    October 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Thank you for the inspiring post, girls! Having rest days and not feeling guilty is something that I’m working on. I have the same problems than you, I don’t see any problem in working like mad, but I find it super hard to take a few days off. This post was super helpful and I’d love to read more like this, so I’m really glad if just ddiscovered Heather’s blog. It looks lovely!
    You both have a great weekend 🙂

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:37 am

      Thanks so much and I am glad you found it helpful! I think the more you listen to your body and rest, the easier it gets, but it definitely hard at first! You have a great weekend too!

  • Reply
    Megan (The Lyons Share)
    October 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Great post! Thanks to Heather and Davida! I’m with you, Davida – I’m good at finding motivation to work out, less good at finding motivation to rest :). But if I don’t take rest days, my body lets me know! They really are so important, mentally and physically.

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:41 am

      My body tells me when I need to cut back too, and it is so much easier to listen now that I have made a habit of it.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Yes! I’ve mainly had to take rest because of having kids, but other than that I’m still working on the rest thing:)

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:43 am

      It is a lot easier to take breaks with kids because you don’t really have a choice sometimes!

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    October 11, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Love this post- I used to often consider rest days a sign of weakness but I’m so glad I’m past that- my body finally appreciates it!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2013 at 2:44 am

      I think if you don’t realize how important they are than it is easy to feel that way. I am sure your body is glad you are past that too! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 12, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Great tips!! Rest days are much harder for me than work days!! The only time of taken extended breaks from fitness is when I’ve had major injuries.

  • Reply
    Jan Sproutsnsquats
    October 12, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I usually take 1 rest day a week but sometimes if my body feels really worn out ill take 2. When I’m sick I will take multiple days off if I’m really not well as I know if I don’t ill feel worse.

    I hope your injury heals soon. After my race tomorrow I have been told I need to take at least a few weeks if not more off running to prevent a bad injury, so I in a small way feel your pain.

  • Reply
    Run like a G!
    October 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Loved this post!
    Rest days are definitely important! We need to remember that!!!

  • Reply
    Carla Bruns
    October 12, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    I totally believe in rest and even a week off but I’m at week three and need to get back at it. Luckily my body adapts quickly. Great post!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Nice to meet you Heather, thank you for sharing your guest post and these awesome tips about workout rests! I hardly work out or have rest days during travels ;( but I guess walking daily counts!

  • Reply
    October 13, 2013 at 12:21 am

    This is a great post Heather! And I totally agree. It’s important to listen to what the body is saying and give it a day off sometimes 🙂

  • Reply
    Kiran @
    October 13, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Great to meet Heather. Breaks are so important. I get more energy throughout the week after taking much rest 🙂

  • Reply
    Jorge Gonzales
    November 27, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Well said taking rest really give us more energy more active you are but when I take holiday for a week I usually get away from my daily routine and then I have to suffer from Indigestion problem.

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