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Sweat it Out: Breaks are Necessary Sometimes

While trying to think of a topic to write on for this month, I realized what better than something I have recently been dealing with. This morning I taught my first fitness class after a month break.

Many times when we get into a workout routine, we feel defeated if we ever have to take a break, for whatever reason. I have been there so many times. I remember working out through sicknesses, vacations, and more just so I wouldn’t have to experience that dreaded feeling of failure.

But friends, taking breaks are needed and necessary sometimes.

Many fitness professionals will tell you to never miss more than 3 days of a workout, but I am not one of them (not anymore). I wish to set your free from that way of thinking because let me tell you from experience, it can be exhausting and stressful.

The same way that when we feel exhausted from work and the stress of life, we know we are in need of a vacation, our bodies many times are in need of a break.

There is a popular saying in the fitness community: “Listen to your body.” We often forget that our bodies tell us all that we need to know about our lifestyle and our health.

When we are faced with a series of sicknesses, we often need a break. When are dealing with emotional stress, a break may be necessary. When we are not sleeping well, we may need a break. When our energy level is way below normal, a break may be needed. These are just a few of the reasons that your body may need a break.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes when faced with a sickness or stress, exercise is needed to get us feeling better. But other times, a break may be mandatory. This is why listening to your body is very important.

For me, my one-month break was for many different reasons. It started with an emotionally challenging time, which left me really weak and unable to keep up my workout schedule. Then I was on vacation for two weeks. And then I was moving from one house to another.

There have been other times when my body forced me to take a break. Last year I was out for over two weeks with stomach issues, and the year before I was catching every single sickness that went around. Often if we ignore our body’s signals to take a break, it will force us to do so, possibly with sickness or injury.

I am not saying to stop working out indefinitely. But when your body is telling you to take a break, give yourself the leniency to do so. But at the same time, make sure you have an ending in sight for that break: when you feel better, or after a week or two. The most important thing is to keep your eyes on the goal of working out again, when your body tells you it’s okay to do so.

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