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Days off?

MayFlowers

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
936
I'm working on getting myself back into shape and losing some weight. Last summer I lost about 20 or so pounds by counting calories and working out every single day. Unfortunately, I had an extremely tough and busy school year last year and was unable to keep up with counting my calories and exercising due to my workload. So, I have gained about 15lb of it back. I have been working out for a couple weeks now and watching what I eat.

However, I have found that this time around my motivation is just not as high as it was last summer. During these few weeks, I have always taken one day off from exercising. Usually it's the one day out of the week that I am extremely busy with work and I simply don't have the motivation to work all day and then go work out.

So, I guess I'm wondering if it is important to have a day off each week? Or do I need to motivate myself more and exercise every day of the week like I did last summer?
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
I'm all about a balance. Working out 7 days a week is not balance, especially since I am not the type of person who adores working out. I try to make it fun, mix it up a bit, and target 3 days a week for workouts. Four, if I am feeling ambitious.

I wanted a lifestyle, and I know there is no way in hell I'd maintain EVER working out every day...or even 5 days a week. I haven't cut anything out of my diet, just watch portion control and using weight watchers system to track what I eat. It's coming off slowly but consistently and I feel it's all manageable. It just feels normal to me now. I have to be consistent about it because I can see how it would be easy to just go back to old habits. But I give myself a break and allow days where I don't worry about what I eat too much (within reason) and splurge here and there.

I know losing is not the big problem...it's maintaining, so I am trying to make it easier on myself once I get there. Teaching yourself good habits instead of dieting is the only way to go IMHO.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
I think you should really take at least one day off per week. I like the way TGal said she wanted a lifestyle, that's really key here. You already know that you're unable to maintain working out every day of the week based on your history, so it's important that you develop a workout habit that is easy to fit into your life, and one that won't become and on/off thing.

I pretty much work out only every other day when I'm just maintaining my weight and strength. In the summer that means I do some kind of cardio outdoors every few days, and I hit the gym for strength training every few days. That is it.

This is really typical advice, but it works: Get a workout buddy, or take a class. It's so much easier to haul yourself into the gym if you know there's either someone waiting there for you, or an instructor who is going to tell you exactly what to do for an hour. If my husband and I didn't workout together, I would be in bad shape!

Good luck! You've done it once, so you can do it again!
 

MayFlowers

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
936
Thanks to both of you for the advice! I'm definitely going to be scheduling at least one day off each week now. I guess the real reason I asked this question is because during the summer I have loads of free time and usually plenty of time to work out. I have been taking one day off each week, but I almost feel guilty about doing so. It's like one day out of the week I just don't have the motivation to get up and work out and then when I do skip out on it, I feel guilty. Like I have no excuse for not wanting to work out. But, I guess it is good to give myself a rest. Once school starts back up, a day or two off from working out will give me more time to catch up on studying or assignments.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
NO GUILT! Guilt will cause stress, which will cause inflammation in your body, which will cause you to feel bad physically, which will cause you to skip the gym altogether! Do not feel guilty for taking off a day from exercising, that is what you SHOULD do. Any fitness professional would recommend a day off a week to a client. Even bodybuilders have an off day!

My husband is a muscle specialist, and if I told him I wanted to work out every day he'd say "Absolutely not." ;))
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
It is recommended that you take at least one day off a week. Your body needs that time to repair muscles and rest.
 

soocool

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
2,827
I take 2 days off per week.

5 days cardio (3 days at 30 minutes, 2 days 45 minutes cardio- doesn't include my 5 minute warmup and cool down). 3 days a week Pilates, 2 days a week weights.

I do weight training (20 minutes) the days I do the 45 minutes of cardio and Pilates the days I do 30 minutes of cardio.

On my days off I still walk the dog but don't consider it working out as we make frequent "sniffing" stops.

The only thing I do 7 days a week is 10 - 15 minutes of stretching.
 

elrohwen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
5,392
I have read, and firmly believe based on my life experience, that losing weight is at least 75% about diet. Exercise is great, but you need to get your diet and portion sizes under control. If you can do that, you should be able to work out only 3-4 days a week, which is a much more balanced schedule, and still lose at a reasonable pace.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
TravelingGal said:
I'm all about a balance. Working out 7 days a week is not balance, especially since I am not the type of person who adores working out. I try to make it fun, mix it up a bit, and target 3 days a week for workouts. Four, if I am feeling ambitious.

I wanted a lifestyle, and I know there is no way in hell I'd maintain EVER working out every day...or even 5 days a week. I haven't cut anything out of my diet, just watch portion control and using weight watchers system to track what I eat. It's coming off slowly but consistently and I feel it's all manageable. It just feels normal to me now. I have to be consistent about it because I can see how it would be easy to just go back to old habits. But I give myself a break and allow days where I don't worry about what I eat too much (within reason) and splurge here and there.

I know losing is not the big problem...it's maintaining, so I am trying to make it easier on myself once I get there. Teaching yourself good habits instead of dieting is the only way to go IMHO.
As usual, I agree with all of this. I aim to work out 4 days a week and use weight watchers too. Like you, MayFlowers, I lost and gained in my past, and from that I learned that to lose and keep it off you have to find lifestyle you can maintain forevermore!

I also highly recommend finding a sport or activity that you enjoy and can make a fun part of your lifestyle, so that working out is not such a chore. My husband and I took up running about 6 months ago and we love it! Makes working out much more fun.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
Elrohwen said:
I have read, and firmly believe based on my life experience, that losing weight is at least 75% about diet. Exercise is great, but you need to get your diet and portion sizes under control. If you can do that, you should be able to work out only 3-4 days a week, which is a much more balanced schedule, and still lose at a reasonable pace.
Yes, yes, 1000 times yes!
 
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