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Exercise or Rest? When to Do Which

By Stepy Kamei

You more than likely know the importance of staying fit and active and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. After all, numerous studies have shown that people who live largely sedentary lives are extremely likely to develop health issues such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, and insomnia, just to name a few. As important as it is to stay active on a regular basis, it's equally important to avoid pushing yourself or overexerting your muscles, as this can lead to strains, injuries, and possibly even chronic pain if left untreated.

Finding the right balance between movement and rest can feel tricky at times. Keep on reading to pick up some useful hints and tips to help you determine when you should be active and moving -- and when it's all right to take some time to rest and recharge.

Keeping Up With a Safe and Reliable Fitness Routine

It can be challenging to work up the motivation to start up a fitness routine -- and it can be just as difficult to find the energy needed to stick with that routine, at least in the first few weeks.

Many people find it useful to visualize themselves after a workout, or even, after six months of consistently exercising. Think about how accomplished you feel after completing a run or an exercise class, and remember that feeling in order to push yourself to get started. Imagine how you'll feel, physically as well as mentally, after weeks and months of committing to a workout routine, and you may find it easier to get started in the first place.

It may also help to have a workout buddy to keep you accountable. See if you can go hiking or running with a loved one, a friend, or even your dog! This can make the time pass quickly, and you'll be having a good time bonding with a loved one while exercising.  

Knowing When to Take it Easy

Once you've worked up the motivation to live an active lifestyle, take a moment to be proud of yourself, as that's usually the hardest part. As long as you're gradually increasing the length and robustness of your workouts, you should notice a feeling of gently pushing yourself, but nothing unmanageable. If you ever experience aches or pains while exercising, it's best to stop immediately and take at least the rest of the day to rest the body, so you avoid overstraining your muscles. If you push yourself too much in the present, you may end up experiencing chronic pain down the road.  

When it comes down to it, being more active each day will get easier the more you do it. However, it's completely alright, and even necessary, to take days off from working out each week. The body is designed to move, yes, but it also requires rest and relaxation in order to recharge for the next burst of exercise or just for the demands of daily life in general. Be sure to speak with a fitness coach or a licensed healthcare provider for further guidance on how you can build the balance of exercise and rest into your daily routine.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbia, S.C.

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