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5 Ways to Tell You Need a Rest Day

Usually, the problem with an exercise regimen is that you can’t find the time or energy to show up to the gym, which is why it’s a little weird to have the opposite problem: needing to take a break from your workouts. While taking an extra rest day can seem a little counterintuitive to your fitness plan, it’s actually great for your health, allowing you better gains and lowering the risk of injury. So, do you need a rest day? Here are some ways to tell.

You’re Sore – or in Pain

A little soreness is par for the course when it comes to working out. But if you’re constantly dealing with major soreness, this is your number-one sign that you need to take a day or two off. There is such a thing as overworking yourself, and doing so will lead to diminishing returns. And, if your soreness has led way to a sharper pain, you probably don’t need a doctor to tell you to take a break. In fact, you probably should see a doctor about that.

You Keep Waking Up Exhausted

While exercise, on average, improves sleeping quality, there may come a point where even if you’re getting your seven to nine hours a night, you still feel like a zombie during the waking day. Getting your blood pumping, especially later in the day, can trick your body into being more alert and stressed than it should be before bedtime. If you’re having these sorts of troubles, try switching your workout to earlier in the day – or take a rest day to see if that helps.

You’re Dehydrated

Fitness 101 dictates that you drink enough water to stay hydrated, but even that might not work if you’re working out too much. Overwork can cause your body to go into a catabolic state, in which your body isn’t getting enough protein and starts breaking down tissues to compensate. Dehydration is a side effect of the catabolic state, so if you’re noticing that you’re feeling thirstier than usual, take it as a sign that it’s time to take a rest day.

You’ve Hit a Plateau

Struggling to make gains? Can’t seem to get that PR down? You might be suffering from the dreaded plateau, which plagues every fitness junkie at some time or another. While there are many reasons you could be struggling to make progress, exhaustion is certainly a factor. A rest day would probably do you well, but you might also want to try changing up your workouts to see if that helps

You Dread Working Out

Usually, it’s your body that tells you it’s time to take a break. Don’t discount your mind, however; sometimes, you just might not be feeling it. If you’re the kind of person who can take a break for a day or two and pick up right where you left off–without falling off the fitness wagon – well, you deserve a break! Giving yourself some time away from the routine can let you come back re-energized with a more positive mindset.

Nobody said staying fit is easy, but it’s a lot worse when you’re not taking the breaks that your body and mind are telling it to. If any of these symptoms speak to you, you’re probably in need of some well-deserved rest!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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