You’re tired, your feet hurt, and your food cravings have taken a turn for the bizarre. No, you’re not pregnant;* you’re overtraining.
Don’t worry: you don’t need to throw in the towel on your new year, new you; you simply need to rein it in a little bit. But first, pat yourself on the back for what you’ve accomplished so far this year! You’re (likely) hitting the gym so hard as per your SMART goals, you’re meal-prepping like a rock star (who meal preps), and you’re finally getting enough sleep.
Now answer this: When was your last rest day?
If you’re hearing crickets and/or tumbleweeds while you rack your brain for the answer, you are due for a day away from the gym (at least once per week).
1. Your muscles need to recover in order to grow. Is your body asking politely (e.g., by being sore) to be left alone? Listen.
2. Your other tissues (fascia, tendons, ligaments) recover at a different rate than your muscles, and they won’t ask you politely so much as demand rudely (e.g., your ankles, grip muscles, or hips are downright cranky) for a break? You’d better really listen. Or get benched for weeks or even months due to a preventable overuse-induced injury, such as tendonitis.
3. You’ll burn out, and your New “Year” resolution will barely last a month.
Again, don’t worry. I’ve come up with a list of things for you to do on your rest day instead of stare longingly at the gym selfies in your Instagram feed. You’re welcome.
1. Get your car washed (admit it: it’s time).
2. Get a massage (your body will love you for this).
3. Meal prep.
4. Make a kick-ass playlist for your next workout.
5. Read amazingly well-written and insightful fitness articles on Queerty.
*Or you are. I don’t know your life.