We all know soreness is part of the glory of getting in shape or achieving fitness goals. It's like a physiological affirmation sent to us from the fitness gods saying, "Yesterday's workout was worth your time! Keep up the good work!" It truly is the best. However, when your butt is so sore you can't get out of bed in the morning, your body is sending you a loud and clear signal: You need a break.
No matter how hard we fight it, our muscle fibers need quality time to recover and rebuild before we work them out and tear them apart again. For example, if your lower body is sore, drink a lot of water and either fine-tune your upper body, or just take the day off entirely. You can do it.
Sometimes, we fear taking a rest day because we know how easily one day off becomes two, and two becomes, "I'll work out next week." Instead, we need to discipline ourselves to make conscious rest days part of our week-to-week routine. A rest day for me does not mean I sit on the couch doing absolutely nothing.
In fact, it's quite the opposite: I still walk as part of my commute in New York, and I make healthy meal choices. Maybe I'll get a deep-tissue massage, and I make sure to get to bed at a reasonable time and avoid too many happy hour drinks with friends. Life’s all about consistent, healthy moderation. Don’t let "rest day" be defined as a departure from the healthy lifestyle you’re trying to build—it is only a part of our weekly routine when our bodies get a break.