5 Reasons To Take A Vacation From The Gym
My wife recently gave birth to our second daughter, Piper, who turned out to be just as cute as her big sister Lucy. Although it can be tempting to want another child, we decided it was best for our family to call it quits with 2 kids. Being the great husband that I am, I promptly scheduled a vasectomy. During my initial consultation, the doctor gave me some unexpected news: I had an inguinal hernia. This information was news to me since I had not been experiencing any pain or discomfort. Since I work all day in the gym and consistently workout, I’m usually sore to some degree on a daily basis and the hernia had gone undetected since the pain was very mild. Nonetheless it was a good thing the doctor caught it, otherwise I might have had an episode on the squat rack!
The doctor suggested that I get both procedures done at the same time. Works for me! I would much rather be under anesthesia for my vasectomy. And I’m sure that any man who has every had a vasectomy would concur that having no memory of the procedure is something to be thankful for! The worst part of the surgery was the limitations the doctor advised for my recovery. I was instructed not to lift anything over 20 pounds for 3 weeks. Being a personal trainer this didn’t seem like something I wanted to abide by , however the first week of recovery was painful enough and I felt I had no choice but to take a week off work and just sit on the couch.
Not going to work is difficult for me because I’m naturally driven and have a pretty decent work ethic. If I’m on vacation I can still be found working from the computer, answering emails, texts, or working on my website. So, I just considered the week off as a stay-cation and used it to catch up on some paperwork and Netflix binge watching.
After being off for a week, it occurred to me that I actually felt better having placed a little distance from work, the gym, and the weights. Physically, my body most likely needed a break. Even though I love my job, mentally my brain needed the opportunity to turn off for an extended period of time. Socially, it was nice to be at home with my family and to not worry about setting my alarm clock for 4am everyday. I slept until I woke up and it was great! All of this got me to thinking about some health reasons why people should take a break from the gym. Based on my one week gym sabbatical, here are my top 5 reasons:
1. Your Body Needs A Break- There is such a thing as over training. Constantly lifting, trying to go heavier, trying to get leaner, muscle damage day after day, stress on the nervous system, and stressed joints can lead to fatigue and overall body damage. Not only do our minds need a break, but our bodies need a break from keeping us moving day after day. Take some time to catch up on some movies or TV shows and let your body rest.
2. You’re Stressing Out All Of The Time- Do you or your anyone you know have a terrible relationship with the scale? Numbers go up, down, or stay the same. You workout, eat right, but can’t seem to break a weight loss plateau. This is especially true with the ladies, who tend to be more stressed than men. Yes ladies, it’s true, men have it easier than you when it comes to weight loss and muscle gain, generally speaking. Our bodies respond differently to stress. This just means you need to do things a little differently than your male counterpart. Start by not focusing on weight loss first, and rather, focus on eating healthy and being consistent. Put your mind at ease by not stepping on the scale for a while and judge improvements by your clothes fitting differently, or a faster mile run. Take some time to allow your mind to refocus its perspective.
3. Your Hormones Are Out Of Whack- Hitting a weight loss plateau sometimes means there is an underlying metabolic problem. Hormones like cortisol, progesterone, thyroid, and estrogen are all regulated by the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands. Many women have hormone imbalances or underlying metabolic damage they aren’t aware of, then can’t figure out why their weight isn’t moving. I suggest making an appointment with an Endocrinologist to get your hormones checked. Knowing what’s going on inside your body can help your trainer or dietitian make the right modification with your diet and workout. Focus on healing your body from the inside, before you worrying about aesthetics.
4. You’re Comparing Yourself To Everyone Else- It’s frustrating when you are sticking to your workout and diet and your friend eats everything is sight and does next to no cardio, yet they’re still skinny mini. It’s not fair, I know, but life isn’t fair. These people have what I call a metabolic trust fund. They can eat whatever they want and still stay lean. Don’t sweat it, focus on YOU. You are your own motivation and have your own genetics to worry about. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else, you can’t change your genetics.
5. You Just Need A Change- Going to your gym should be fun and welcoming. We all have our routine and gym buddies we enjoy seeing. However, we can sometimes get burned out with the same old routine week after week. Why not try boot camp, yoga, a spinning class, or joining your friend at their gym? Sometimes a change of scenery can be all you need to get out of a workout slump.