We are four months into 2019, and if you have been consistently exercising, then you may feel like a rest. You may wonder if taking a break will ruin all your gains?

Don’t worry – there is plenty of research confirming a break from intense exercise is healthy: both psychologically and physically. The best practice is to plan breaks and do something different.

Athletes and sports professional all take breaks, sports professionals have an off-season, and powerlifters have a “deload” week in their training.

In fact, a study of cyclists, at the University of Stirling, Scotland (2013) suggested that while high-intensity exercising is necessary, a more significant impact to the athletes fitness was made when trainers combined periods of low-intensity exercising.


How getting fitter works

Fitness training is only a tiny part of our day, and it is the time to apply a stimulus that elevates the heart rate and breaks down muscle fibers, causing the adrenal glands to secrete hormones and have the  body function at an athletic level.

“Getting fitter” is how the body responds to that stimulus, and it comes after the workout.

Exercise creates the need for our body to function beyond rolling out of bed, sitting in a chair, or hauling ourselves off the couch.

Eating and sleeping become resources for the body to repair damaged tissue, strengthen the heart and other muscles used in exercise.  It restores depleted fuel reserves and gets better at transporting oxygen throughout the body. In short, our body makes a more efficient and stronger version of itself by reacting to exercising.


Enjoy time off productively

Having a few weeks off from training doesn’t mean sitting on the couch relaxing into drinking and eating more than usual,  particularly as we head into Easter holidays.

Having a break is about doing some different, perhaps taking long energetic walks, swimming or even trying our online WELLth program at home.

You know what they say…a change is as good as a holiday! Look after yourself and enjoy an active break if you are having one.

If you would like to trial our WELLth program and to be part of our living well with fitness community, I have the link below for you. 


Live well with fitness!


Written by Anna: Nutritionist and Exercise Therapist @SquareBoxFitness.com