I am one of "those people" who really and truly enjoys working out.
It is the one part of the day when I can put all books aside and clear my mind. No matter how crunched for time I feel, even with devoting an hour or so to exercise I am still able to accomplish everything on my to-do list. It is as if I am able to see everything more clearly, simply by breaking a sweat. Thoughts that were once jumbled and complicated come into clear focus. Then, when I sit back down to work on a column or homework assignment, words that once seemed beyond articulation quickly fall into place.
I know that a good workout has the ability to solve many of life's greatest problems... The only problem is that my body doesn't always see it that way. Sometimes, despite how much I yearn to head out for a jog or have a Pilates session, my body just refuses to allow it. Frequently I push through the pain, and while I may feel better in the moment, the aches just reemerge the next day, only exacerbating the original problem! The cycle never seems to end until I am finally, finally able to convince myself to take a day (meaning a minimum of 24-hours/two nights of sleep) off of working out.
I usually end up wringing my hands together, gazing longingly at my yoga mat, or even reaching towards my running shoes... but I make it. The world still turns. The sun still rises.
The next day, feeling a remarkable (and largely unfamiliar) sense of restfulness and renewal, I feel capable of working out. I almost always find that my endurance is increased, my energy is up, and my spirits are high. In that moment I realize the importance of taking a break from exercise every now and then.
Yet, this epiphany always seems to slip my mind just as quickly as it appeared. Soon I am back to the old cycle of refusing to take a day off...
My question: do you ever experience the struggle to rationalize taking a break from working out? Do you have a designated day of rest or just take a break when your body needs it?