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It’s Okay to Take a Day Off

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We all love CrossFit. We love coming in each day to sweat off the day’s stress in the company of people we genuinely like and care about, and who share similar goals when it comes to health and fitness. It’s undeniably addicting, and most of the time it’s good for you. But like any addiction, when taken to the extreme, it can actually undo the results you’ve been working so hard to achieve.

Think for a minute about how you become fit. It’s a process of stressing your body, then giving it time to recover and repair, making you stronger, fitter and better able to handle that work the next time around. They key is to do both. But too many athletes take a more is better approach, or are afraid to take time off to rest, lest they “lose their edge” or fail in meeting their own health and fitness goals.

It’s okay to take a rest day! There’s a reason CrossFit.com recommends a 3 days on, 1 day off approach. High intensity is the secret sauce that makes CrossFit excel as a health and fitness program. However, exercising intensely everyday, without rest days, causes a host of negative effects which can include chronically elevated levels of stress hormones, an increased heart rate, chronic inflammation and a suppressed immune system – none of which are particularly healthy for you!

Worse, constant training without taking rest can weaken even the strongest athletes. Fatigue leads to poor movement patterns, opening the door to injury. Your body starts to break down, because your muscles don’t have enough time to recover and repair themselves. It’s a relentless cycle, but one that has an easy fix – REST.

Resting is critical to what you’re trying to achieve in fitness. You train to break your body down, and it is during rest that you rebuild it – stronger, faster, and better than before. Rest days are your bionic fix that ensures all the good work you’re doing in the gym is going to pay off for you in the end.

However, taking a rest day doesn’t have to mean sitting on the couch all day.  Take a walk, a leisure bike ride, or a relaxing sunrise or sunset hike.  All of those are good options to staying active while giving your body the rest it needs!

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