Hey, bro--take it easy! While having a solid fitness routine is great, there are times when you need to take some time off.
We know it can feel a bit daunting to stop your workout routine and take a break, but it doesn’t have to be this way though. Taking off weeks can be a good thing if it is done the right way.
Here are some tips for when and how to take off weeks.
While you can work out on vacation, it isn’t necessary. Taking that time off to spend with family or enjoy your vacation is completely ok. Sometimes focusing on your health in other areas such as emotional or mental health is just as important as a physical workout. On vacation, there will be chances to walk, climb, swim, and take part in other activities that are good for your health. If you are planning to take a week off for vacation give yourself some grace and enjoy your trip.
When you get sick some will say to push through sickness and workout anyway. This can work for some people but sometimes this isn’t the healthiest decision. Instead, take some time to rest and heal. Taking time to hydrate, rest, and treat sickness will help you to be ready to work as hard as you need to when you are healthy again. During your week off, focus on plenty of rest as rest can be the best treatment for sickness. If you feel the itch to work out, try a light walk instead of your full routine. However, make sure you are well hydrated to avoid extending the sickness. And, as always, stick to proper nutrition for optimum health.
One of the biggest myths about taking off weeks is that it will work against your fitness goals. In reality, taking a week off can actually rest your muscles so they are ready for your next workout.
Taking a week off gives your muscles, tendons, and ligaments a chance to repair themselves. It can take up to four weeks of complete activity to work against your achievements at the gym or in a workout routine. Taking a week off won’t work against you and it could actually help you.
Even the best work out routine can get exhausting over time. In order to avoid burnout, take a week off here and there. Use these weeks to rest and restore. You will be more likely to go back to working out consistently if you build in off weeks. These off weeks can be just what you need to prevent burnout and help you maintain long term consistency.
Taking a week off from a workout routine doesn’t mean you have to take a week off from your health. Instead, replace that week of workouts with some stretching and muscle work. This may mean spending a week focused on using a foam roller on muscles that have stiffened up. This would also be a good time to add in a massage. Having a daily stretching routine for this off week can help you to focus on repairing muscle damage and relieving any tension. Don’t forget about taking a quality Branch-Chain Amino Acid supplement to aid in muscle health. Taking a week off to restore these muscles can help you to get started strong when the week is over.
Taking a week off can give your body some much needed time to heal. When working out, it can be easy to push too far and injure some portion of your body. However, it can take months or years to repair damage once it is already done. Taking a week off can give your body the chance to heal and avoid these injuries that come from pushing too hard. Take a week off every twelve weeks or so to give your body this chance to recover and be ready for the next round of workouts.
When focusing on working out consistently, there are things you might overlook. Taking an off week can help you to move your focus to those items. This off week would be a great time to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor, doctor, or nutritionist to make sure that the work you are doing is paying off. Taking some time to address things like nutrition and your overall physical health will help you to see greater gains when working out. Make sure to fit an off week into your workout routine consistently to focus on these sides of your health.
When you settle into a workout routine it can be hard to stop and look at your overall goals. Instead, you push forward and work hard towards goals. Taking a week off can give you time to reassess these goals. Is your current fitness routine still effective? Do you need to change the goals you are working towards? Take an off week to work on setting the best possible goals and adjusting your workout routine to help you reach them.
Maybe you’ve been pretty settled in your normal routine. Use an off week to try something new. This might mean taking in a new class, going for a long hike, or trying yoga for the first time. Use this off week to look at other ways to reach your fitness goals. You might actually find something you enjoy that will still help you achieve your goals. Plus you might find you work out muscles in new and different ways. Trying something new for a week can help you to get back to your routine renewed and ready to work hard.
When you come off of an off week the temptation can be to jump back in and start working out at your regular levels. While this may be completely possible, it may not be what is best. Instead, let your first workout or two be a small bit scaled back. This will give your body a chance to ease back into working out. By doing this you will avoid injury and be ready to see gains throughout the following weeks. Take it easy the first few workouts and then hit the ground running after that to really see an increase in results.