Today I’m taking a much needed rest day and, as has been the case my entire life, rest days are harder for me than strenuous days. I’ve spent my entire life stupidly resisting “days off” both as an athlete and business professional, living by the motto made famous in Jane Fonda’s original aerobics videos: “no pain, no gain”. I’ve finally learned though that the more true statement is “no recovery, no gain”—for both the body and the mind. As far as the body, exercise makes one stronger by breaking down muscle tissue that becomes stronger upon rebuilding—but the rebuilding actually happens during rest and recovery.

No recovery means no rebuilding and no gain. I have found that what holds true for my body applies equally to the mind. We all think more clearly when we give ourselves the rest we need. I don’t know that I will ever get to a place where I look forward to rest days and embrace them without a feeling of guilt for not doing more but I’ve certainly come to realize how important they are to staying strong and healthy and would advise everybody to take their rest and recovery as seriously as they take their work and workouts. Written while lounging in my very comfortable bed in Austin, Texas ?

– Isabella @ Austin, Texas