Is it time for your body to take a rest day or are you just making excuses? How do you know? As a life coach in the fitness industry for MANY years, Lunden shares 4 questions you can use and ask yourself so you don't push yourself too hard thinking that working out is the only answer. Forget #teamnosleep and #norestdays and say HELLO to a balance of restoration and ass-kicking workouts. Here are some helpful things to consider so you can rock it but not overdo it.
Timestamps to help you navigate this episode:
(2:22) Should you take a rest day? How to know & questions to ask yourself
(4:32) "What did I do yesterday?"
(6:14) "Am I still sore?"
(9:48) "How was my sleep?"
(14:47) Signs of overtraining
(16:00) "Where am I in my cycle?" (for the women)
(20:11) How to structure and plan our workouts with our hormones
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Lunden Souza: [00:00:00] Welcome to Self Love and Sweat. The podcast, the place where you'll get inspired to live your life unapologetically, embrace your perfect imperfections, break down barriers and do what sets your soul on fire. I'm your host, Lunden Souza. Hey, friend, it's me. Lunden Souza Online Lifestyle Transformation Coach. I help people all over the world just like you who know they are meant for more. Get their mind right and their body tight and go from crazy busy to crazy happy. And hey, if it's our first time meeting, welcome. So happy to have you. And if you've been with us for a while, it's so great that you're here too. I'm really excited to share this episode of the Self Love and Sweat podcast with you.
Lunden Souza: [00:01:06] Welcome to today's podcast. In this episode we're going to talk about should you take a rest day and give yourself a little break or is it time to do the thing and do your workout and get in your steps even when you don't feel like it? And how to know the difference, right? How to know this for you. This is a super powerful skill to have to be able to be consistent and consistent for long enough of a time to be able to get to know your body. And it signals when it comes to fitness and working out to be able to decide for you, Hey, do I need a rest day or do I need to just kind of give myself a kick in the pants and like, just do it right, as Nike says? But this is important and this is important for fitness. And this is also important in many other areas of our life. Right. Because sometimes we have to do the thing even we don't feel like it. We have to do the workout, put in, get our step goal, put the extra, put the extra effort and hustle into what we're doing to actually do the thing. And so that's why I feel like fitness is so profound and such a great tool because it transcends into many other areas of our life. Often breakthroughs in fitness can transcend to breakthroughs in other areas of our life, which is why I love fitness so, so much.
Lunden Souza: [00:02:22] So what we're going to talk about today, like I said, when it comes to knowing if you need to take a rest day or you put on your motivation hat and do what you need to do your best playlist and just get after it. These are going to be some questions and check in points that you can use to ask yourself to check in with your self because this reflection is going to be important. I don't it's not my goal that you get really good at relying on someone else to tell you to take a rest day. It's my goal that you learn from this episode and through using these questions and points in this episode that you learn to decide for you and own that decision for you when it's time to take a rest day. And it's like, No, I'm not being lazy, I just need to take a rest day or Yeah, you know what, London? You're being lazy. It's time to, you know, do the thing and get after it and be that for yourself as well. It's a very powerful tool to to do that. And it's also great to have coaches and friends that hold you accountable and all the things, too. But at the end of the day, we have to be able to hold ourselves accountable. And so part of staying consistent and doing the thing, you know, regularly and showing up to your workouts and being consistent and progressive over time is taking the rest days, is owning the rest days and finding that balance for you so that you can continue to push and recover in a way that is sustainable.
Lunden Souza: [00:03:46] So you don't feel like you're maxed out and burnt out mentally and physically, because sometimes that can happen when we don't give ourselves proper rest and recovery. And then we also know what happens when we don't do the thing, when we don't do the workout, when we don't push ourselves to get up, when the alarm goes off or when we go to the couch instead of doing what we said we're going to do for our workouts, right? So we get to see the outcome of our most frequent choices, right? So these are great questions that you can use when you say, You know what I want to know and be able to tune into me even better. And this is going to be a helpful resource for you so that you don't burn out, that you don't over train, but that you also give yourself a little push when you need it. So the first one is, what did I do yesterday? Ask yourself that question. What did I do yesterday? What workout did I do? Sometimes we might be feeling super tired and exhausted and fatigued and be like, What did I do yesterday? Right? And maybe you'll be like, Oh yeah, that makes sense.
Lunden Souza: [00:04:48] I did a really challenging workout and sometimes it's like, Oh, I tried something new or I made some subtle adjustments in my workout, but I didn't realize I was going to feel like that tired or sore or whatever. Just some reflection on what you did yesterday. Maybe it could be the case that you did a long run or a tough hike or a tough, challenging hit workout yesterday, and you're not really feeling super exhausted or fatigued or whatever, but you might be able to say, you know what? That was really hard and that was like a longer workout than I normally do. So I'm just going to proactively take a rest day because I know that what I did yesterday was like badass and I crushed it. And so I'm going to give myself some rest and maybe just go for a walk or whatever, do some more recovery activities there. So in deciding if it's time for a rest day or if you just need to get after it, asking yourself, What did I do yesterday to reflect a little bit? We'll be helpful. And if you notice yesterday I didn't do shit and the day before not much. And today I'm not really feeling it. It could just be that you need that momentum and you just need to take action so you can start, feel, start to feel how good working out feels and then you'll just want to keep doing it right.
Lunden Souza: [00:05:57] That's kind of like the side effect of being consistent is you get the results and I feel like results have always been the most motivating. In my life and in the lives of my clients, whether it's results we notice or others notice as well. So that's the first one. What did I do yesterday? Number two. Am I still sore? So asking yourself, Och, sometimes I wake up and I'm like, Oh my gosh, my whole body sore. I'm just so. But then you start to get moving and it's like, och, once I got up, got moving, got some hydration in me, did my morning routine, checked in with my body a little bit. I realized like, och, my legs are super sore because I did legs yesterday. But in theory, looking back at what I did yesterday and the days before, I can train some muscles that are not sore. Right? I can do something to work and challenge a muscle group that wasn't activated yesterday because remember, working out creates the micro tears in our muscles and we get the better results from our workouts when we allow that reparation and that recovery time for each muscle group. So you can also have that reflection process and ask yourself like, what did I do yesterday? Where am I saw? Do I really need a full rest day or is it cool if I do? Maybe some upper body stuff, if my legs are sore or maybe a long walk or some stretching and some foam rolling as recovery, that's an option to write, but I think it's really cool to just check in with the physical body.
Lunden Souza: [00:07:25] Am I so still sore? What's sore? In addition to like, what did I do yesterday? And granted, I guess this is a caveat that I'll say, too, because maybe you're following a training plan or maybe you have a plan and that's really cool. And the plan should be structured if done properly, where you're not overdoing it on the same muscle groups multiple days in a row. Right. And what I'll say is rest when your plan says rest, I'm working with a client one on one right now that is running a marathon. And so I've brought in a marathon coach who also runs marathons that I've been working with for a while to help with the planning and the programming, because he's much better of an expert than I am. And this client in particular that I'm working with, he's really doing a great job at recognizing and overcoming moments where he's just like all the way in or like all the way out and really finding that happy meeting medium and that sturdy ground. And throughout this marathon training, he noticed, oh, yeah, like my, my easy pace is my easy pace for a reason. Just because I feel like I can run faster doesn't mean that I should. I need to trust the plan and stay where it's at.
Lunden Souza: [00:08:35] And even if I feel good on a rest day, I also need to be resting. So if you have a plan and you're working with the coach or maybe you're doing one of my online coaching programs, rest when your plan says rest. And if you've chosen, I'm doing three days a week and the other days or four days a week and then the other days are rest days. Even if it's a plan that you've created for you and you've said, okay, I'm going to do this, these are my workout days and these are my rest days. Rest on those days, right? So that's a like a little side note there. Rest when your plan says rest and rest when you said you were going to rest. So that way you can acknowledge, hey, is this enough? Rest for me. Can I push a little bit harder some weeks? Can I lean back a little bit more if it's if it's not enough rest, for example. So that's really important, too. So trust your plan and the communication that you have with your coach and the program that you're doing and take that rest, own that rest. And it doesn't always need to be like going after it all the time. Going hard in the paint. It can be. Slower, leading to bigger progress. Right. So what did I do yesterday? Am I still saw another one? It's huge. Is How was my sleep?
Lunden Souza: [00:09:48] How was my sleep?
Lunden Souza: [00:09:50] And honestly, if I'm being super honest, I probably didn't listen to this advice perfectly. If this was standing alone, like how was my sleep? Based on if I trained today? Because last night I got eaten alive by a mosquito. It's been warm. So I opened up my window, which has a screen. But I think that one of the other doors that leads to this patio I have access to it doesn't have a window. And I just opened it up at night. It doesn't have a screen, so I opened it up at night and I think the mosquito got in that way and I did not sleep well at all. According to my aura ring, I slept like off and on for 6 hours and I was up for a long time. I think I watched two movies in the middle of the night. And so today I trained. And I also know that the days before I felt really great I was sleeping well. I also didn't train because I was just camping and doing yoga and being in nature. And so I felt like because of the past 13 plus years of knowing my body and knowing, okay, I'm tired because I didn't sleep for one night because of this like annoying ass mosquito. And I think I can push my limits and do a workout with some weights. I'm not going to lift super heavy, but I did a 26 minute workout that was just a bunch of combination exercises for legs and shoulders.
Lunden Souza: [00:11:04] I did get some burning and breathlessness and it did feel a little bit heavy, but it definitely wasn't my heaviest and I'm feeling good. I think I'll get a good night's sleep tonight, presuming the mosquito is not there, and I think that it will be a good feeling for me. I don't feel exhausted right now. I feel really good. I know. I'll eat a great dinner. I'm going to go for a little evening, walk here soon, get another big glass of water in my water bottle. And so not to justify or like there's always exceptions to rules, right? And the better we get to know ourselves. And I've had so many experiences of pushing my limits so hard. Trust me, it's not my intention to do that at all. I just knew that getting back into the flow of strength training was going to be helpful and lifting weights and moving my body to give me that for the rest of the week for my productivity level and getting in the flow after having been camping all weekend was a nice physical umph to get me motivated and the flow of working. Also after I had been camping, right? Because I was like relaxing in nature, all the fun things. I'll do a podcast about that particular camping trip to. It was really awesome, enlightening experience. And so, yeah, so how was my sleep? Right? So if you're asking yourself, okay, did I sleep crappy last night? If I work out today, am I going to be more exhausted and more hungry and just whatever? Just it's going to mess up my day because I'm just not going to be able to put forth the effort if you didn't sleep well, great.
Lunden Souza: [00:12:32] Right? If you haven't slept well the last few nights, maybe you need to take a rest day. But considering looking at your rest when feeling that fatigue and asking yourself, okay, what did I do yesterday? Why am I tired? Did I work out? No. Oh, my sleep wasn't that good. Maybe that's why I'm tired and I feel like I need a rest day, right? So just asking those questions, so it kind of fires and brings in like in wires, you know, some some connections there and like some aha. Moments of like, oh yeah, that's what happened or that's what, how I slept last night and oh my gosh, I slept outside of my covers. And that mosquito just got me. I think I had over 12 bites there. They were gone by the morning, but I was like scratching everywhere. And then I feel like sometimes you think that there's more than there actually are. You know, I felt like there was like 16 on my ankle, but maybe there was two and I was just scratching everywhere like it was no tomorrow. It was intense, to say the least. But I woke up this morning and I went for a nice walk up this hill, did a work out, like I said, 26 minutes.
Lunden Souza: [00:13:28] Not like a raging. I shouldn't say raging, but not like a really intense hour and a half weight training session like I sometimes will do. This was very just quick to the point effective and exactly what I needed because I know that for me. Right. So how how was my sleep? Not that great, but I get to fine tune this for me. But most of the time when we're not getting good sleep, it's probably not a good idea to push our limits. And like, let's say you were doing a race or like a running race or something and you were nervous or you didn't sleep well that night. Like, it's not time for a rest day. It's time to it's it's race time, right? So you can kind of ask yourself, is it time for a rest day or is it go time? Cool. Some signs of overtraining that I think are important to think about when it comes to bad sleep. Okay. Maybe one night I get it right. A couple of nights, maybe it's disturbed. Maybe there's something stressful going on or something that you're working on that's keeping you up late. But feelings of overtraining that you can recognize that are important to know are being like really thirsty, super thirsty, always dehydrated, just feeling like you can't get your thirst quenched, feeling overtired. So maybe it's not like a couple of days of sleep that have been messing you up.
Lunden Souza: [00:14:47] Maybe it's really like, okay, no, I'm overtired because I've just been working out too much and, you know, pushing my muscles to the limit and not giving the rest and recovery that my body deserves. So feeling super thirsty, feeling overtired, feeling consistently sore. Like if you're always sore, that can be a very that could be a important sign of overtraining. If you just feel like, oh, man, my body's not recovering. Give yourself a couple more days. Give yourself an Epsom salt bath, take your supplements and your vitamins and stay super hydrated and have your electrolytes and stretch and foam roll. And the melt method is something I've been loving. You can check them out. Just melt like melting ice or something. Melt method. It's really great. Just an awesome way to recover and rejuvenate the body so that you can push hard. You can do the beast mode, right? But we can't do the beast mode and push our limits without that recovery and that rejuvenation there. So those are some signs, like I mentioned, of overtraining, being super thirsty, overtired and just consistently sore and achy. And like your body's never fully recovering and feeling rejuvenated after a workout. And then the last point that I want to mention, because this is really important, especially well, yeah, this is really important with the female clients that I work with either one on one or in my Strong at Home for Women program is where am I in my cycle? And as females understanding that if you are cycling like let's say you haven't gone through menopause yet and even if you have, there's ways to monitor where you're at in your cycle in terms of your energy levels and some of those consistent fluctuations that happen month over month.
Lunden Souza: [00:16:28] And to be able to say, oh yeah, I do need a rest, because even though I didn't do much yesterday or if I did, I don't really feel it. I'm feeling pretty recovered. Whatever I'm not really saw. My sleep was pretty good. I don't have signs or symptoms of overtraining, but like where I'm at in my cycle, I just know I feel fatigued. My my menstrual cycle is coming up or sometimes for me near ovulation, I'll start to feel a little aggro and just kind of like in need of a bit more nourishing and like self care and self love and stuff. And so being able to track that and notice that and learn our four phases of our cycle and the hormones that are present or accelerating or coming down. And what that means for us and our energy levels is important to know because number one, it's great to know because yeah, it's helpful to be like, okay, that's why. Right? It's not just that I've been overdoing it. It's just like my body needs a break because where I am and my cycle, I also think it's really powerful because now I structure my training plans based on my cycle.
Lunden Souza: [00:17:35] I know that. So where I am in my cycle now, it is Monday. I know that my period is coming on Friday. That's also partially why I pushed myself today because I know come Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I'm going to be leaning in much more to longer rest and just walking and stretching and more lightweight, total body restorative, kind of more yoga, stretching, opening of the heart and hips. And those type of movements are going to be what I'm going to check into. So it's like I know from many, many, many months and years of tracking this kind of where my body usually is, typically energetically so that I can schedule those workouts accordingly. And I think that's really important because then it's sometimes like, okay, yeah, I'm not that tired, but I'm going to have like a proactive rest day and do a face mask and take a bath or just go for a long walk. Not necessarily because I need it or feel like I need it at the moment, but looking at my patterns and knowing me like I know me, I know where I'm going to be at in a few days and I want to be proactive in that. And we get to do that. The more we tune into our body and learn, you know, go beyond just the workouts and doing the work ends and tuning in and knowing how our body communicates with us when we're quite frankly like tired af and need a break and how our body communicates with us when it's just being like you are being a stubborn inner child and you just need to do the thing and like get after it, right? So yeah, I just think that these questions are super helpful.
Lunden Souza: [00:19:04] So I'm going to go through them one more time. Okay, so what did I do yesterday? But first of all, I'm going to say. Rest when your plan says rest. Okay, trust your plan. Trust what you're doing. Take the rest that you said you were going to do for your plan. Right. So that's super important. You don't need to go hard in the paint all the time. And then the questions is like, what did I do yesterday? Am I still sore? How was my sleep? Do I have signs of overtraining where my body really needs? It's a break. And then also where am I in my cycle? And men, I'm not as well versed in men's cycles. And I know that you don't have some of the physical or you don't have the physical symptoms that women do. But pay attention to where you're kind of mood and energy levels are throughout the month and see where you're at and just kind of monitor things like that because patterns are cool. It's cool to see that. But I don't have I'm more well versed in women's hormones and working out in order to use our hormones as our superpowers instead of just, you know, I just felt like for the longest time it was like I heard from my clients, like, oh, I'm on my period and I have cramps so I can't work out.
Lunden Souza: [00:20:11] Or I wasn't on my period and we were like working out, right? But being able to structure and plan our workouts so that we can work with our hormones is a really great strategy and something I love to coach on in my Strong at Home for Women program as well as in one on one coaching. It's a great way to tune into our body and to tune into the best moments to get our powers and the best moment to get our Z's powers. Personal records. And I guess you guys know these are, like, sleeping, so. So yeah. How do you know? Ask yourself these questions and then send me a message on Instagram. You can shoot me a DM. I love hanging out in the DMS on Instagram at Life like London and let me know how these questions have helped you learn more about you and take that proactive rest when you need it, or take that rest when your body is like, Hello, you need to be taking that rest right now and listening and knowing the importance of listening there. So, yeah, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Talk to you guys next time. Bye.
Lunden Souza: [00:21:11] Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Self Love and Sweat, the podcast. Hey, do me a favor. Wherever you're listening to this podcast, give us a review. This really helps a lot and share this with a friend. I'm only one person and with your help, we can really spread the message of self love and sweat and change more lives all around the world. I'm Lunden Souza, reminding you that you deserve a life full of passion, presence and purpose fueled by self love and sweat. This podcast is a hitspot Austria production.