Rest to feel your best: Why it's important to make sure you give your body the rest it deserves

Posted by Jackie Wren on 5th September 2018

Rest is often overlooked as a main contributor to a healthy body and mind. There is an old proverb that says ''all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'' and this is very true. If we are always busy working or training we become bored, stagnant and unfocused.  We all know and understand the importance of exercising, stretching and healthy eating but often neglect our bodies’ need for rest and relaxation. Some of my clients even say they feel guilty if they rest. In fact the last thing you should do is feel guilty as giving your body and mind the chance to unwind and recharge your batteries is essential for optimum fitness.

We should always strive to have balance in our lives and if our body and mind are constantly on 'high alert' then we risk the possibility of injury. We can become irritable, tired and crave all the wrong foods. Rest gives us the opportunity to sharpen our focus on our goals, lifts our spirits and gives us the energy and strength to exercise more efficiently.  Even athletes and body builders allow a rest day, they call it their growth day. They understand that the growth day is when they build muscle, replenish energy stores and let their whole body and nervous system get back to its optimal working state. 

The good news is a rest day does not have to be totally sedentary, I recommend my clients make time to have a stroll among nature or visit a place they can relax and allow their mind and body to just 'be'. It's fine to read books, practice meditation, listen to music, catch up with your journals or just spend time with family and friends. Some of the fittest and most active people I know often allow themselves a nap, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sometimes just sitting or lying down and giving yourself permission to totally relax.

I recommend booking yourself a rest period everyday - even if it's just 30 minutes - and once a week a complete rest day from strenuous exercise. That way you reduce the risk of injury, burn out and stress.

Have fun, work hard, play hard and rest!

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