It’s no secret that seeing legitimate weight loss results takes time, effort and consistency.
However, at what point does your dedication and consistency actually work against you?
Nobody wants to slow down during their fitness journey, especially once they start seeing results in the mirror. That being said, sometimes you just plain need to take a brief break for the sake of your mental and physical well-being and your long-term fitness goals. Unfortunately, many newbies power through exhaustion due to misconceptions such as…
- They might reverse all of their hard-earned progress if they take a break
- The fear that they’ll lose the long-term motivation to workout whatsoever
- The need to “power through” plateaus for the sake of not looking or appearing “weak”
Despite popular belief, taking a break can actually be beneficial to your workout goals.
“Sometimes you just plain need
to take a brief break for the sake of
your mental and physical well-being
and your long-term fitness goals.”
The following six scenarios represent the tell-tale signs that it’s time to pump the breaks.
You Keep Getting Sick
Attempting to hit the gym while you’re ill is obviously a bad idea; however, it can be downright dangerous if you push yourself too hard. Although some people can work through something as simple as a head cold, consider the dangers of weakness while you workout such as dropping weights or fainting during a jog.
While nagging illnesses such as sinusitis can be taken care of with home remedies and doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the doctor, anything that involves mucus buildup and fever signals that you need to rest. Illness is a legitimate excuse to halt your workouts: simply listen to your body.
You’ve Plateaued (or Gotten Worse)
Sometimes in the world of fitness, less is more. For example, if you’ve been lifting weights and find that your numbers have been stagnant over the past month, it might be time to take a de-load period. After all, your body builds muscle during rest: without giving your body the time it needs to recover, you’ll only see diminishing returns.
You Can’t Sleep
Speaking of rest, poor sleep quality is also a signal that you’re doing to much. Bad sleep correlates directly with weight gain; similarly, not being able to stick to a regular sleep schedule will inevitably wreck your progress. The less sleep you get, the more you potentially wreck your nervous system.
You’re Experiencing Mood Swings
Moody? Angry or upset at the smallest details of your daily life? You might be working too hard.
For many, fitness represents an opportunity to relieve stress or experience a “runner’s high” which makes them feel awesome. If your workouts are having the opposite effect, your hormones may be out of whack which causes unnecessary stress.
You’re Constantly Sore
Again, sometimes you just plain need to listen to your body. Some people take soreness or pain as a sign of progress, but this mentality is foolish. Especially if you’re flirting with lower back pain or shin splints, you can set yourself up for long-term injury.
You Feel Burn Out, Plain and Simple
Last but not least, sometimes burnout creeps up on us. If this is your first time committing to fitness for the long-term, don’t feel ashamed if you need to take a break.
“Despite popular belief, taking a
break can actually be beneficial
to your workout goals.”
Remember: fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. For the sake of your physical and mental well-being, consider taking a week or so off if you feel the need: you won’t lose all of your progress and will feel much better when you get back on track.
Have you ever taken time off from working out?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.