Do you find it difficult to find the proper amount of rest through the hustle and bustle of physical activity, work, school, or taking care of your family? At times, we are so consumed by the things we do that rest and downtime are often put on the back burner.
Getting the proper amount of rest and downtime can help with our physical and mental wellbeing. Far too often, we do not talk about rest but rather the positive effects of physical activity on our bodies.
Far too often, we do not talk about rest but rather the positive effects of physical activity on our bodies.
The Physical Effects Of Not Enough Rest
From a physical standpoint, studies have shown that rest days play a major role in helping maintain good health and fitness (Brown, 2017). Russell Wynter, a NASM certified trainer, states how “when the stress is too much physiologically for the system to handle, it can and will lead to overuse injuries, such as stress fractures, muscle strains, and joint pain” (Rosenbrock, 2015, para. 3).
In my early twenties, I was so fixated on being at the gym and playing sports that in a seven day week, I never gave myself a day off. I was putting too much strain on myself but had the mentality, “I am young and will recover quickly.” Although not technically wrong, the idea of being physically active seven days a week was a poor choice as I was working my body into overdrive.
As I have gotten older, however, the aches and pains are felt far too often. Studies have shown that breaks in physical activity provide a psychological boost to keep you motivated while avoiding overtraining syndrome, which results in extreme skeletal, muscular and joint trauma (MH, 2016, para. 4).
The Mental Effects Of Not Enough Rest
From a mental standpoint, rest is extremely beneficial to our wellbeing. When we get the correct amount of sleep, we give ourselves a better capacity to learn and process memories more efficiently (MHA, n.d., para. 2). Rest also greatly affects our health in that it decreases the risk of diabetes, headaches, heart disease, depression, obesity, and high blood pressure (MHA, n.d., para. 5).
How To Find Balance
The proper amount of rest and downtime is also essential for the more important areas of life, such as our relationship with God and family. As I stated earlier, I was so consumed by physical activity that it became my idol.
Jesus talks about the issue of idols in Leviticus 26:1, saying, “Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the Lord your God”.
I spent all my energy devoted to the idea that I needed to be physically fit and healthy in order to be truly happy. What was becoming unhealthy and overlooked was my relationship with God and my family. When I finally stepped back from excessively working out and put more of an emphasis on rest, I became more in tune with God and realized I am nothing without him. Although I still enjoy being physically active, I now have balance in my life where I value more than just myself.
Our lives are filled with too much noise and movement, and we often do not still ourselves before the Lord. Yet the Lord remains loyal and loving and will help us in our busyness of life. Habakkuk 2:20 says, “The Lord is in his holy temple. All the earth – be quiet in his presence”.