I Took A Week Off From Working Out


A woman resting and drinking coffee.Maybe it was around age 41 when I noticed that I couldn’t respond to my alarm clock the way I would have even just a few months before. I started to feel myself snooze repeatedly until it was time for me to mobilize and start the day with the kids.

I was always an advocate for starting your day with a workout, big or small so that you get it out of the way and utilize the endorphin rush as a motivation to get cracking at your priorities. However, I felt a change when I realized I was forcing myself to exercise.

I noticed when I was pushed to get up and work out…

  • I didn’t move as fluidly.
  • I didn’t feel the true energy rush.
  • I needed to find time to nap later in the day or rest my mind.
  • I felt exhausted much earlier in the evening.
  • I craved more sugar.

So, a few months after turning 41, I decided to stop working out early in the morning. I took an entire week off. I didn’t set an alarm and let myself wake up naturally. Here’s what happened when I listened to my body.

1. I felt more energy upon waking up.

My body wanted to rise, and my cortisol (your body’s stress hormone) had a natural rise – giving my body the purpose to function, move, feel hunger, and motivate.

2. My circadian rhythm is regulated.

I pushed my coffee closer to a 9:30/10 a.m. start. Recent studies have shown that pushing coffee to later actually helps stimulate your body positively.

3. I ate less.

My body regulated intake and I didn’t crave sugar. I noticed myself having self-control in my meal design with adequate protein and portion control.

4. I didn’t need to nap.

I didn’t feel exhausted after lunch and feel the need to nap. I started taking calls after lunch while I walked around the house. It not only helped my digestion but also improved my concentration and focus.

5. I started to miss my workouts.

I started creating a more balanced workout plan, integrating a routine focused on my strength goals, and I felt motivated again.

This experience taught me that it’s important to listen to your body. There is a connection between nutrition, sleep, and stress. 

As we age, sleep, specifically quality sleep, plays a very important role in longevity and strongly connects to nutrition. Often, we work out and eat whatever we want, but it is counteractive and could deter the process. So when you hit a slump, take a week off to reset and find ways to move that give you joy—perhaps a dance class, a power walk with a girlfriend, or playing with your kids outside.

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Anita is a Registered dietitian and fitness professional. With over 15 years of experience, she specializes in women’s health and overall lifestyle wellness. Her goal is to help people achieve their optimal set-up with an intuitive and balanced approach. As a mother of two young boys, Anita has been through various life cycle phases. She is passionate about helping women, especially those in their mid-30s and above, find their healthy balance! Anita recently launched ARM NUTRITION, a nutrition telehealth platform that accepts insurance. Anita has contributed content to MBG (mind body green), The Skimm, Romper, Women’s Health, and more. She writes and offers her expertise as needed and loves to be a trusted resource.


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