The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a great time to take a break from strength training, cardiovascular work and your personal trainer.
Too many people don’t realize the value of taking time off from the gym and their workouts. As a matter of fact – with the exception of my clients – I don’t come across many people who look at taking time off from their workouts as a good thing. No matter what your bag is, baby – strength training, cardio, working with a personal trainer – time off from the gym can be one of the best things that you can do for yourself.
The people that I do know who take time off – again, except for my mind-numbed minions – usually do so when they are sick or injured. Bad move. Time off from strength training when you are hurt is not time off. In order to get the real benefits that come from rest, you have to be healthy, not hurt or sick. Recovering from the flu or an injury is completely different from taking time off when you’re healthy.
If you work with a personal trainer, they should have planned rest built into your regular training schedule. Vacations and extended holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year and summer vacations are the ideal times to take time off and/or engage in different, non-structured forms of exercise like strength training, yoga, Pilates or long distance running.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s offers the perfect opportunity to take a break from the rigors of your normal routine. Too many people stress about fitting their workouts into an already hectic schedule filled with holiday gatherings and other obligations, and worry that they are going to somehow “fall behind” because they take time off.
Nothing can be further than the truth. Time off from working out when you are healthy is restorative, and has a different and greater effect than time spent recovering from an illness or healing from an injury. Just like low-intensity strength training and cardio has a greater benefit for those who work truly in the high-intensity range, rest when healthy is more beneficial than forced rest due to injury or illness.
And really, if you’re nursing an injury that is the result of strength training or running, this can’t be considered rest, can it? That would be kind of like saying being in the hospital is a vacation.
So take advantage of the times of year where your schedule changes. Relax; take time off from your personal trainer and the other elements of your regular routine. You’ll recharge your batteries, clear your head and be better off in the long run.