The Importance of Rest

It’s very important to me that I practice what I preach, especially when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. As hard as I try, I don’t always get it right. Unfortunately, sometimes I have to learn lessons the hard way.

I had an experience recently that really made me check myself. One of the things I learned while I was a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is the importance of living a balanced life. We learned that if your life is out of balance it eventually leads to problems with weight and health.

A major factor in living a balanced life is getting enough rest. It’s so common for us to sacrifice proper rest in order to get more accomplished. I’m guilty of that sometimes, and it got the best of me last week. Typically, I try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep on weeknights and about 8 or more on the weekends. For weeks I’d been sacrificing my rest. Of course, you can only do that for so long before your body will tell on you. I’d been getting signals that my body was tired, yet I continued to ignore the signals and just pushed through.

Finally, after several days of ignoring the warning signs my body shut down. I’d felt out of sorts most of the day, but by the time I left work I was feeling really tired, and by the time I made it home I was EXHAUSTED! My entire body felt bad. I feared my safety while driving the last few miles home because I didn’t think I could make it. I literally had enough energy to get in the house, set the alarm, peel off my clothes and get in the bed. I slept for the next two hours. After getting up for a brief moment to eat something, I went back to bed and slept all night. By the time I got up the next day I felt 100% better and full of energy. I felt more alert and productive than I’d felt in weeks. That’s when I knew the only thing I needed was rest. I made sure to go to bed early the following night and each day since I have felt good.

I felt so convicted after that experience because I knew I’d ignored the warning signs that I was overdoing it. I tell friends, family, and clients all the time to listen to their body. In fact, when people ask me for advice, my first question is usually, “what does your gut tell you?” We always have the answer within us…on some level we always know what we should do.

It’s ironic how we think pushing through being tired will enable us to get more done. The truth of the matter is we can’t really focus and concentrate in that state. If you spend more time resting, it gives you the energy to get more done –in a productive and efficient manner. There’s a reason God created the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th day. He modeled the behavior he wanted us to exhibit.

This body God created is a wonderfully amazing vessel—it knows what we need and it knows how to heal itself – IF we’d only just listen. What’s your body trying to tell you?

Until next time…

Peace, Love & Fitness

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