Why it's actually really good for you to take a break from the gym

By Marni Dixit January 11, 2018
Watching TV

Don't know about you, but I really needed to hear this today...

It's the first week back at work for a lot of people and the first week since the Christmas period where we begin to fall back into regular routines. Now, I'm someone who works out about four times a week, and I genuinely enjoy it (most days), but this week I just couldn't get the motivation to go in. And to be honest, I really don't feel all that bad about it. 

That's because it's totally fine to take a little break from the gym, it's actually really healthy. 

Tina Fey night cheese

When you work out, you're putting a lot of stress on the body. You're creating tiny tears in your muscles that your body needs to repair, and if you're trying to lose weight you're probably exercising while not giving your body enough energy to do so. So it's important to have regular rest days and in this case, a rest week. 

I know it's hard, but it's time to stop beating yourself up about having a week off the gym. Extended breaks provide a crucial mental lift that can keep you motivated and can trigger powerful physical and biochemical changes that can increase your muscle mass over time. 

According to Men's Health, it's not the workout itself that's making your body look awesome, but the time spent recovering. The rest periods are when your body goes through a whole bunch of changes that give you that great rig of yours. 


Also, you're not going to lose all of your hard-earned gains, it takes four to six weeks of inactivity to see a big difference in your strength – and that's pretty much bed rest we're talking about. If you've taken one or two weeks off you're not going to lose a huge amount of strength and power. 

Cris Dobrosielski, consultant and spokesperson for American Council on Exercise and founder of Monumental Results Inc., told SELF:

"For most people that are exercising regularly and have a moderate to solid conditioning level [you work out four to six times a week], a week off is an opportunity to take a break and refresh the mind and body."​

Your mental health will also improve, you'll feel sharper and probably more motivated! However, if you are a beginner, you might find it's more difficult to get yourself motivated after a break. Just remember how amazing you feel after you've finished a workout! 

Images: Getty and Giphy