6 Signs You Need A Rest Day From Your Workout

There is such a thing as too much exercise and this is called over training. Overtraining can lead to not only burnout from exercise, but also injury and pain and can end up doing much more harm than good when you push too hard for too long. If you have been hitting the gym hard daily and you can’t remember the last time you took a day off from working out, it is probably a good idea to take a rest from the gym. 

Below are the top 6 signs you need to take a rest day:

1. You have low energy

Feeling tired and low energy is a sign that you might be overtraining and need to take a day off from the gym. This is because when you do hard exercise daily this can exhaust your nervous system and lead to burn out and fatigue.

2. Your easy workout feels hard

If you are having a difficult time getting through a workout that you can normally do with no problem, this is a clear sign your body needs a break. Instead go for a walk around the neighborhood and try a yoga class.

3. You are having trouble sleeping

If you are having trouble sleeping this is a sign that your body has been overly stressed and may need rest. Exercises increases the stress hormones in your body, and when they do not have a chance to come down and level out, the stress response can last throughout the day and into the evening to disrupt sleep.

4. Soreness isn’t going away

It’s normal to feel sore after a hard workout, but if it’s been several days or even weeks that you are still sore, this is a clear sign you need to give your muscles a rest. Exercise breaks muscle down so that they can rebuild to become toned and stronger, however, if you don’t give them adequate rest they will just continue to break down.

5. Your resting heart rate is elevated

Your resting heart rate is exactly that – your heart rate at rest. Individuals who work out regularly will have lower resting heart rates because exercise works out the heart muscle, hence the word “cardio.” As the heart muscle gets stronger it is able to pump out more blood with a greater force per beat, leading to less heart beats per minute. An elevated resting heart rate from your normal rate is a sign of stress, which can be both psychological and exercise induced. If you have been working out hard several days in a row consider taking a rest day and see if your heart rate returns to normal.

6. You’re feeling stressed 

Working out hard causes a rise of cortisol, the primary stress hormone in your body. Too much exercise can cause excessive cortisol production which can start to make you feel stressed. Exercise is the best thing to relieve mental stress, however, if you over due it on the exercise this can actually induce more mental stress.

Main takeaway…

If you are experiencing one or more of the above, consider whether you need to take a rest day to recover and feel better. A rest day doesn’t mean sitting on the couch all day. Make it an active rest day and still aim for 10,000 steps or try a light yoga class.


  1. http://www.medicaldaily.com/5-signs-overtraining-racing-heart-rate-poor-sleep-396376
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/icb200070

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