Why I hate the term “rest day”

Let me sum up in one answer: because there is nothing “restful” about them. :/

**Sidenote…this post is going to be a little wordy, and a little more on the serious-y side. Proceed with caution

Yesterday I had a bit of a breakdown/breakthrough. Coming off of two days without having time to do any sort of workout, we decided to get up early before church and head to the gym for a run. I was actually excited about it (excited about getting up at 6am? Who am I???) b/c we don’t leave for church until about 8:15 which means we didn’t have to get up as early as we would if it was a work day.

By the time we got out the door and too the gym it was 6:30. This meant I only had about 1/2 hour to do my run/walk workout. Pretty much as soon as I started doing my warm up walk I knew I was in trouble. My bowels were acting up. I hadn’t had any food or coffee which usually gets the process started earlier, but not the case this morning. I finished my warm up walk and hit the bathroom. Back to the treadmill and started my run. Got about 5 min in and had to go AGAIN. By the time I got back to the treadmill after b-room trip #2 we only had about 10 min left. All I wanted to do was cry in frustration. I was feeling defeated.

The rest of the day was crazy busy. Church, errands, super bowl party….This precious 30 min in the morning was the ONLY time I really had to get my sweat on and it was ruined by my own body and not of my own will.


I felt so disappointed since I hadn’t been able to workout the past two days and now another day down the drain. Monday would also be a wash b/c I have work all day and then small group at my house in the evening, so again, another day without time to get a really good workout in.

We got home and started getting ready for the day and I was really in a bad place. I was frustrated, angry and feeling like giving up. I was mad that I would have to write “rest” day on my workout planner for the past two days especially since today’s workout was a bust. Then I got started thinking about how nothing about those days (and many many other days in the past) had nothing to do with “resting”. They were all affected by plain and simple lack of time. Too many priorities, responsibilities and things to “get done”. Workouts take the back burner.

A typical “rest” day includes:

  • getting up at 6am and getting ready, eating breakfast, cleaning something (kitchen, living room, dishes etc…)
  • driving 45min to an hour to work
  • working for 8 hours
  • driving 45min to an hour home
  • making dinner
  • cleaning something
  • having small group or class in the evening or
  • going to the grocery store, Costco, Target, Petsmart or somewhere else to get things we need
  • paying bills
  • helping Kyle with homework
  • spending time with hubsters
  • cleaning something
  • other things that come up such as get togethers with friends, events, work dinners, grooming appointments etc…

When I think of “rest” day, I think of a day of lounging around, watching TV and enjoying the “resting” of it all. None of that happens on my “rest” days and I don’t like it sounding like that is what is happening. I know in reality we all know that’s not what the word is really implying, but I just don’t like it. On “rest” days I am usually more exhausted from all of the “life” that is going on than I am on good workout days.

I also think “rest” days are really supposed to be planned days in which you should be recovering from something. You purposely don’t work out. Usually my “rest” days end up as rest days way b/c I just plain ran out of time or something came up that completely interrupted what I had planned to do in terms of workout.

So what I have decided is that instead of writing “rest” day on my plan I am going to jut put nothing or (—–) to be more precise. I know that was a lot of rambling for something relativley simple, but I really wrestled with this yesterday and just felt the need to talk about it. Humor me. Thanks. YTB (you’re the best)!

I am also going to make it a priority to run every Tue, Thurs and Sat. Those days seem to just work better for my schedule so I am going to make those days priority. Mon/Wed I am going to do some workouts at home either in the morning or at night and Friday will be an up in the air day. Sunday’s will be reserved for swimming if at all possible.

Part of this decision came about after our class we had at church. Our topic of discussion was the “thieves that steal our joy”. It really challenged me to take what I was feeling and turn it on its head. How could I be so upset or frustrated with myself over something so trivial? I have two legs and arms that work and a heart that beats and lungs that breathe. My life is so much more than my workouts. Even though it is a priority and something I have committed to making a part of my “regular” life, I need to focus more on what is happening now. So much time is spent worrying about the past or the future that we forget to be appreciative and thankful for today and all of the amazing gifts and blessings that are a part of my life now, TODAY.

Needless to say, my day ended MUCH better than it began. Praise God. 🙂

7 responses

  1. First I totally get that. I end up doing so much on “rest days” because I have the extra time so I try and cram in errands and cleaning. Then before I knew it my life was like a workout.

    The plan I’ve been following lately has really helped my mentality on rest. I have 3 days a week that are 100% scheduled with running then the rest are rest or cross training days. This really helps because if the day gets away from me I can just call it a rest day and move on. Hopefully I’ll have the time on one of the other 3 days to get some sort of fitness in.

    Endorphins make you happy and you were just lacking in endorphins. You’ll get the fitness train back on the tracks in no time.

    • thanks lady I really appreciate that. I think you are on the right track with the 3 days a week that are 100% running. I think even with my hectic schedule I can make that work, so I really am going to focus on that and just try to rest or cross train the other days. I want to know how it works for you and I will let you know how it works for me!! I love that we can bounce ideas off of each other. Good to know we aren’t alone! 😉

  2. I like the fact that you are focusing on how blessed you are! It really helps to keep everything in that perspective. Also keep in mind that your family’s lives are lived in a very large geographic area. You guys really are spread thin … all that traveling chews up time. Consolidate as much as you can and count it all joy …

  3. its taken years of me being on this journey to not beat myself up over “rest” days…sometimes life just gets really busy and hectic and its hard to fit it in there…each day is a new day. it just gives you that much more energy to pour into your future workouts. some of those days i have off def tend to be more exhausting then my workout days, lol!

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