There are generally two kinds of people when it comes to health and fitness. You have those who will allow the least sickness, illness, or pain keep them from achieving their health goals. And then you have those who will push through anything in order to keep from missing out on any benefits. This article is speaking more to the latter.
When you start to see results it is easy to not want to stop, for whatever reason. We will push through pulled muscles, we will keep going with a cold, and we push ourselves too soon after a sickness. We think taking a break is giving up. And we tell ourselves resting will cause us to gain weight or set us back.
If you are this type of person, you have to learn that rest is just as important as activity.
The truth is we need to learn to listen to our bodies. Our bodies are always communicating with us; we just need to take the time to listen to what it is saying. Thirst, hunger, tiredness, headaches, sickness, plateaus, weight gain, low energy, weight loss, and cravings: these are all ways that our body communicates with us.
If you are that person who is constantly on the go, and you come down with an illness or an injury, rest is vital! Your body needs a break. It can be hard to do, but it is 100% necessary. It is much better for us to take a short break from our health and fitness goals than to push ourselves too hard and have an even bigger set back.
In fact, in many cases, we have a sickness or injury because we haven’t listened to our bodies when it told us to slow down or to do something differently.
I am speaking from experience. I am constantly on the go. I teach morning classes, I work all day, I teach afternoon classes, and at times go to a church event afterwards. I don’t like to take breaks because it not only affects me. I like to push through whatever I can. And currently, I am recovering from a few weeks of stomach issues. I haven’t been able to teach, I haven’t been able to be nearly as active as I usually am, and I have been sleeping way more than I usually do. It has been such a hard few weeks, but I know that my body needs the rest right now. I feel I am letting others down, but my body is telling me it needs the rest. I wouldn’t be a very good health and fitness “professional” (I don’t like to use that word) if I didn’t follow my own advice and allow my body the break is it clearly telling me it needs.
The hard truth is that your body knows better than you do. Your body knows how to function. Your body knows what it needs. And your body will communicate those needs with you. It is your job to learn how to listen. It takes time, but pay very close attention, and your body will tell you exactly what it needs.