Rest Days: What Exactly Do You Do?

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 8, 2009

Good morning!

ChiaSeedsDirectIt isn’t always easy returning to school or work after the last long weekend of summer. So to cheer you all up, I am having a fun chia seed giveaway this morning!

Read on to find out how to enter. :)


Rest Days: What Exactly Do You Do?


Over the years, my thoughts on rest and recovery days have been all over the map.

In my late teens and early twenties, I rarely considered the option of even giving myself a so called rest day. I did too much and I felt burned out. No surprises there.

After my injury this year, something sort of clicked inside me and I started to appreciate taking rest days. I realized that if I was going to give my best performance, I needed to let my body heal itself.

Over the past several months as I have been training for my summer races, I realized even more how important a rest day can be and how much it improves both my physical and mental energy. As my mileage has increased, I appreciate and look forward to my rest days more and more.

What do I do on my rest day?

I typically take the term ‘rest day’ to heart. I don’t exercise or really even move much during my rest days. I see it as a well deserved lazy day when I don’t feel a workout nagging in the back of my mind. However, I will admit, some of my rest days I am left feeling fidgety. Some days I want to exercise a bit, but I feel like I would be harming my body and not giving it proper rest. I am also questioning if I should be doing anything else on my rest days. More stretching, sleeping, icing, eating, etc. Truly, rest days couldn’t be as simple as resting, could they?

Given this dilemma, I was quite happy to see my Runner’s World arrive in the mail. One of the featured cover stories, ‘Rest Right: Make the most of your days off’ caught my attention. Like always, the fabulous people at Runner’s World read my mind.


Here is the kicker:

Exercise physiologist, Dr. Stephen McGregor says to make the most out of your recovery days doing absolutely nothing all day is not ideal.

I’m telling you guys, I almost threw this magazine in the garbage! I said to myself, ‘No one can take away my lazy rest days! Noooooooooo!’

Wait, I’m supposed to move on my rest days? AreyoujokingIhopeyouarejokingme.

Dr. McGregor says that having an active recovery (have you ever heard of a bigger oxymoron!?) can sooth aches and prepare you for stronger workouts better than an inactive recovery day.

Still not liking where this is going. But, I read on. ;)

The article went on to give some tips for increasing the benefit of recovery days.

1) Move It

Do very light activity like walking your dog or riding a bike for about 30 minutes. “Keep the intensity low…you shouldn’t be out of breath.”

2) Loosen Up

We don’t always have time to stretch properly after tough workouts, especially if they are long in duration. Use your rest days to focus on stretching out your tight spots. Research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine finds that yoga boosts running performance.

3) Eat Smart

Focus on eating the nutrients that you don’t get enough of during the week. If you normally spend 45 minutes on exercise, take some of this time to plan out proper nutrition.

3) Tune In Early

Our bodies and brains need sleep to heal from the mental and physical stress of training. Try to get 7-9 hours of undisturbed sleep.

My thoughts:

Ok, so some light activity might not hurt me, in fact it could actually improve my recovery. I think I am going to be more open to the idea of doing some light walking on my rest days if I want to.

However, coming from my obsessive past with exercise, I know that information like this can be used in a negative way by some. I think it is important to stress that even though some light activity may improve recovery, it is still 100% FINE and DANDY to just sit on the couch during our rest days. We earned the rest and we can spend it however we please.

So of course, take this article with a grain of salt. The take home message here is if you want to do some light exercise and find yourself fidgety when sitting still all day then by all means do some. But, don’t allow yourself to fall into the ‘I should be doing more and more’ trap. If you really want to veg out on your rest day, then veg the heck out!

How do you approach rest days? Are you an all out rester or do you prefer to get in some activity? Have you found that activity helps your recovery?

Leave one comment below by midnight EST for your chance to win a 3 pound bag of chia seeds, graciously donated by Chia Seeds Direct. Contest open to US and Canadian residents only please.


I hear that Chia Seeds Direct also has free shipping within the US.

Chia seeds…the wonder seed!

Goodluck and Happy Short Work Week!


See you later for a breakdown of what to do immediately after an intense workout from minutes 0-45. Have I been doing it all wrong? Stay tuned to find out!

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{ 353 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany September 8, 2009 at 8:50 am

I try to take at least one rest a week, but I’ll take more if my body is telling me I need to.

I love chia seeds and my stash is getting low!!


Emily September 8, 2009 at 5:39 pm


I have been following your blog obsessively! You’re beautiful and such an inspiration to live a healthy life. It looks like you’ve truly found your niche!

Keeping my fingers crossed for the chia seeds….;)


Michele September 8, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Just found and started reading your blog – thanks so much for this valuable resource!


Kate B September 8, 2009 at 8:54 am

My rest days are for resting! I always take one weekend day off and one week day, the funny thing is is that I am still working on those days so I am on my feet for at least 7 hours. After work I still come home and sit on the couch and relax and read!

OH chia seeds would be great to try!!


Lizzie September 8, 2009 at 8:58 am

I mix it up, but a lot of the time it depends on what else I have going on with work etc. Sometimes I’ll ride my bike (easily) or do some strength training. But if I truly feel tired (for example, I did a long rung yesterday and since I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon, I am not going to do anything today), I’ll stretch and that will be it. I think you’re right about listening to your body – it can make the world of difference!


justveggin' September 8, 2009 at 9:02 am

Interesting article! On my rest days I usually do some deep stretching and light yoga. I think rest days are important and the days after a rest day my runs are much stronger, especially my long runs.


Kristen September 8, 2009 at 9:02 am

I try to listen to my body when it comes to rest days. If I’m absolutely wiped and sore, I do nothing. If I’m feeling pretty good, I’ll do some walking or some easy biking. I definitely have the days where sitting on the couch doing nothing is a “must”. I generally try to stretch on rest days regardless of how I’m feeling.


Deva (Voracious Vorilee) September 8, 2009 at 9:04 am

I tend to mix it up. I run and lift heavy, so my workout schedule is really varied, but I do work to include two rest days each week for muscle recovery, and don’t do the same type of workout back to back. I ran yesterday, so today I’ll be lifting, and tomorrow may be a rest day, but it may not be.


Kimberly V September 8, 2009 at 9:05 am

On my rest days (which I totally feel guilty about), I will at least stretch, or do yoga, or make it a really light day at the gym. I like to eat exceptionally healthy on those days and drink lots of detox tea. I need to work on NOT feeling guilty about this:) Oh and I like to sit around watching lifetime movies! He He!

Chia seeds rock!


Joanna September 8, 2009 at 9:06 am

Good timing on this post, Angela! I usually take a rest day after my longest run of the week. This weekend, though, after doing my 10K on Saturday, I tried to sneak another 7K in on Sunday. The sun was shining, and I was feeling a bit down about the end of summer, and the fact that too many outdoor BBQs and wine drinking had increased the middle-age spread! BIG MISTAKE! I got home tired, flustered, with aching knees, and tense back. And that has set the tone for the week – I feel stiff, and out of joint, and have had to scale back my gym workouts (and cancelled my Tuesday run). So now I am going to take rest days much more seriously, and actually REST. For me, that’s usually a short stroll to the local farmers’ market on a Sunday to buy organic vegetables and admire the flowers and just have some down time to myself.


Pam September 8, 2009 at 9:13 am

Usually I bike, so on my easy days I just take a nice walk!

I love your info Angie….thanks!

Haven’t tried Chia seeds, so it would be nice to give it a whirl.


Lisa September 8, 2009 at 9:14 am

I take 2-3 rest days each week. Right now I’m training for a half marathon. On rest days, I take a short walk or some long stretching. I admit, I always feel stronger and my body has more energy after rest days.


Jess September 8, 2009 at 9:15 am

I rest but I also get out and walk, etc. I really try to make sure I don’t over do it on rest days but at the same measure I try not to be too lazy!

I hope I win the chia seeds – I’ve been afraid to try them!


Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) September 8, 2009 at 9:15 am

I’d love to try Chia seeds!

In all honesty – rest days are something I’ve never had a problem with. lol


Kirsten September 8, 2009 at 9:15 am

I notice a significant difference in my running and athletic performance when I take meaningful rest days. By meaningful, I mean that I THINK about it, try to move, walk, etc. Sometimes, moving means “walking around the mall trying on fabulous clothes I can’t afford on a Sunday afternoon!” :)… and that’s ok too. But, often a great Hot Yoga class on rest days is really beneficial as well.

I try to remind myself that rest days are just as important as the days working. Not only physically, but mentally. NO ONE is going to die or (gasp!) gain 10 pounds because they take a day or two off… and sometimes we all forget that. :)

p.s. I love Chia Seeds!


Sara D. September 8, 2009 at 9:16 am

I like the idea of stretching on a rest day, and my dog never says no to a walk and walks with him are slow and leisurely, he has to stop and sniff everything.

I think rest days are key, but I’m not good at taking them until I’m burnt out and then I rest many days in a row.

Another informative post. Thanks!


veganlisa September 8, 2009 at 9:16 am

I am currently recovering from an over-training injury so this is a very important article. I typically do a yoga class on my rest days. I walk a lot everyday because I don’t have a car, rest day or not I have to get to work.

I am need of chia at the moment so this would be fantastic timing!


Lauren A. September 8, 2009 at 9:17 am

on my rest days i like to go to the grocery store and just walk through all the isles thinking about possible meals/food combos and doing some price comparing. this gets me up and moving to loosen up my muscles but isn’t really working my muscles. and i typically walk out with some healthy food to help me recover even more.

thanks for the great giveaway!


Claudia September 8, 2009 at 9:17 am

I tend to not to anything on my rest days either – I feel I earned it! :)
I usually end up doing a little bit of walking in the form of shopping though…haha I will never complain about that!


Cate September 8, 2009 at 9:17 am

I tend to avoid anything that I would count as “exercise” (running, biking, fast walking, etc) on rest days, just because I know I would go out too hard. I’ve recently begun using the extra time in my day to run errands and things, though, so I end up walking anyways!

Oh and I would love to try those chia seeds.


Sarah R September 8, 2009 at 9:18 am

I think the type of rest day really depends on the exercise before. If it was a really intense or lengthy day of exercise the day before I like to have a day completely off. If I’m taking a rest day from exercise because it has been too long since I took a day, I like to make it an active rest day.


Dee September 8, 2009 at 9:19 am

I’ll be honest in saying that now that I’m in a routine, I’m not the best at TAKING rest days. In general I go for the ‘active recovery’ option, and still exercise a bit but slow my pace or do something non strenuous. Sometimes I’ll turn on a good show and run my elliptical on the easy setting at an easy pace. Other times I’ll find a good movie to watch with my little boy, make some air-popped popcorn, and spend the movie sitting on my exercise ball and playing with it with him so I keep moving a bit through, and have fun at the same time – it doesn’t FEEL like exercise when I do this, and I get to spend some Mommy time with my baby! :) Window shopping and exploring for new products to try at an easy pace is another of my favorite off-day activities. I guess I change it up depending on my mood!


Abbie September 8, 2009 at 9:20 am

I always take one weekend day off, and on all of the other days of the week, I try to do some type of workout. Some days are more intense than others!
LOVE chia seeds!!!


Morgan September 8, 2009 at 9:21 am

I always like to stretch out on rest days. My father was a serious athlete until he injured his back, and after his surgery makes sure he stretches every day-he even has a yoga mat in his office (it’s not so weird, he works for a gym!). I took this lesson from him, and always stretch out, just to keep my muscles loose, so my next workout feels better.
I also have a built in excuse to exercise…my dog needs to get outside, so a light walk doesn’t feel like working out, just quality time with the pup!


Erin September 8, 2009 at 9:21 am

On rest days I try to get in an easy walk during my lunch hour at work – or do some yoga at home before bed time. Not anything strenuous, but enough to get the muscles loosened after being at the office all day. I’ve found that my most tired day of the week is Wednesdays – I think because I typically do my long runs on Saturdays or Sundays and workout pretty hard Monday/Tuesday. That, coupled with working and I’m ZONKED on Wednesdays. I’ve found that taking that day is really helpful to my body and mind to get through the rest of the week. I’ve found rest days are absolutely essential for running and yoga.

I’ve been wanting to try chia seeds for a while now! Thanks for the giveaway!


haya September 8, 2009 at 9:22 am

i almost never have 100% inactive days and will almost always at least do ~1 hour of easy walking (mostly because walking and biking make up a large part of my means of transportation, so it’s hard to just not do anything)

a day after a really really long + hard run though (or a race), i might only just walk around the block and do a bit of stretching.
active recovery definitely helps soreness go away quicker.


AshleyP September 8, 2009 at 9:23 am

I do nothing on my rest days! I can’t wait until I can move into a more walkable area to go for easy walks though- I love walking around the neighborhood when I visit my parents!

I’d love to try the chia pudding I’ve read so much about :) I hope I win!


Madeline @ Greens and Jeans September 8, 2009 at 9:27 am

I usually do nothing on my rest days, but I have been trying to get into that “active recovery” mode, especially since I know I need to get back into the habit of stretching more! So yesterday on my “rest day” I hit the pool for a few easy laps (and some sun!) and then spent about 10 minutes doing some light stretching. The verdict? Well, I’m about to go on a 7 mile run so I suppose I’ll find out!


kaila September 8, 2009 at 9:28 am

OMG! i love chia seeds and i just ran out please pick me!!!! they are great on oatmeal and yogurt!


Genie September 8, 2009 at 9:29 am

I PREFER all out rest days or some light stretching/yoga. However, a lot of times on my so called rest days I find myself catching up on household chores and cleaning, and sometimes I end up MORE exhausted than if I would have worked out! LOL!


Sharon September 8, 2009 at 9:30 am

Chia Seeds!! Cha cha cha Chia!


Michelle September 8, 2009 at 9:31 am

I try and keep rest days low key, but if I get an urge to be out and moving, I enjoy taking a walk or doing some light stretching.


Emily September 8, 2009 at 9:32 am

Sheduling a rest day never works for me, because I`ll usually spend that day resting… then the one after that… and the one after that (not sure how something always comes up). So I try to just at least walk on my “rest day,” maybe not the full amount, but a little bit.

I love Chia tea, but never tried the actual seeds. I`ve heard a lot of great comments though.


MeredithLeigh September 8, 2009 at 9:34 am

I generally like to walk or stretch on rest days. I’ve found that if I don’t do anything I get incredibly stiff. However, I never do anything too strenuous.

Thanks for the opportunity to win such a great prize!


Audrey September 8, 2009 at 9:34 am

I just listen to my body and decide when I need a rest day and when I have one, I usually take walks!


Stephanie p September 8, 2009 at 9:36 am

I usually take 2 rest days per week. Like you, I take it to heart and dont do much. However, I find that inactivity makes me eat significantly more, so sometimes I try to get some light activity in for the sake of not eating all the food in my house!


Krista September 8, 2009 at 9:36 am

I take at least 2 rest days a week, with my busy schedules that is just the way it works out. If there were more hours in a day I may actually have “scheduled” rest days like other people! ;)


Mary September 8, 2009 at 9:37 am

I have a hard time taking an ‘all rest day’. I usually end up doing some easy yoga or walking. But some times, I just want to sit on the couch with my book and relax. I get really fidgety though and need to do something. Those days I end up doing chores around the house!


Kelly J September 8, 2009 at 9:39 am

On my rest days, I do absolutely nothing! I have the same feelings towards resting as you… I deserved this rest day, so I’m going to really take advantage of it! I might not even leave the house at all if I don’t have to work that day. Perhaps I take the term “rest” to literally, but I don’t care… it is my reward for hard work, and I’m not giving it up!


Molly September 8, 2009 at 9:41 am

I would love some chia seeds…I have been dying to try them!!!
For me, some rest days I lightly jog for 1/2 an hour, sometimes I do a little strength work, sometimes I do a little yoga, but if I’m really tired, I give myself the day totally off! and it feels goooooooddd…


Laura M September 8, 2009 at 9:42 am

i would really like to try chia seeds, i can’t find them at any stores near me


Katie September 8, 2009 at 9:42 am

On rest days i still do take at least a 30 minute easy walk (mostly outside but inside if its bad weather) I just feel better when i walk, walking is such a stress reliever for me!! Yay for chia seeds!! That would be an awesome gift!!


Jaya September 8, 2009 at 9:42 am

Ang, this is such funny timing because I just wrapped up my university field hockey training camp last Thursday and after 15 days of 2-a-day workouts including tons of sprint work, stairs, actual sport, lifting weights, we always take both, an active and total rest day. The active rest day is a really useful tool for getting your muscles warm enough to stretch. Also, I find that without active rest, it is very hard to flush the lactate out of muscles. I love having one of each and I find that my body also responds better to a steady decline in activity, rather than an abrupt cessation in activity. Besides, a total rest day is more useful for experimenting with those chia seeds!


jessica September 8, 2009 at 9:43 am

Great info. I haven’t had a chance to look at my runners msg yet. Blarg!
Yay chia seeds!


Katie September 8, 2009 at 9:44 am

I tend to do rest days like you do – not much. But I like the idea of taking the time to stretch, as I feel that I normally rush through that part – and it feels the best!

I’ve SO been wanting to try chia seeds – thanks for the chance at some!


Rachel September 8, 2009 at 9:44 am

I’m all for doing nothing on rest days! Sometimes I feel like just sitting on the couch with a cup of tea and book.


Maureen September 8, 2009 at 9:46 am

I am so curious about chia seeds!


Bonnie September 8, 2009 at 9:47 am

I usually end up taking the dogs for a walk most days, so I still do a little something on my “rest” days. I usually I think of them more as a none running day, although I do try and cross-train the day after my long run (we’ll see how that goes after 18 & 20 milers in the next couple of weeks).

Oh, chia seeds. I’ve been longing to try them!! I’ve seen some at whole foods, but I wasn’t sure which ones to get. I would love to try them!!!


Jennifer September 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

I sleep in on my day of rest! It is nice not to hear that 5 am alarm.


Anne P September 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

I usually just see how I feel on my rest days. Sunday I was really tired (I ran 8 miles on Saturday), so I just did errands, stuff around the house, met up with friends, etc., making the most of my extra time! Some days I’ll do some light walking or something if I feel more energetic.

Also, I have been dying to try chia seeds!


Holly September 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

I always feel so weird doing NOTHING on rest days, and then wonder if that was good for my body. I wonder if I did something light like yoga or the bike ride they suggested, if I’d feel better the day I went back to my harder workouts? Hmm.

And I hope I win the chia seeds! I’ve been so curious about them!


Stephanie September 8, 2009 at 9:49 am

I truly try to take my rest day as a complete rest day. I find this gives me the motivation to get back at it the next day


Suzanne September 8, 2009 at 9:51 am

I went a long time without ever taking rest days and lately have realized what a horrible plan that is! I was so burnt out all the time! No I make myself take at least one rest day a week. It’s usually during the week and since I have to walk a lot during the day anyways, I stay somewhat active. I also try to get a good stretch in!


Lauren September 8, 2009 at 9:51 am

I’m as lazy as possible on my rest days … although perhaps that would be less of a problem if it was only one day a week, rather than two or three!


Daria (Summer of the CSAs) September 8, 2009 at 9:52 am

Most rest days I take totally off. I might walk a bit to run errands or something, but usually the extra time in my day goes to working instead of a lighter workout.

I think the article is right, though. When I ran competitively I would always do a light jog on rest days, the theory being that it helps to work lactic acid-related soreness out of your muscles. I think it does help, but it’s only really imperative if you’re looking to PR all the time. Dealing with a little extra muscle soreness during your next workout might be annoying, but if you need a rest day to totally laze, it definitely won’t be the end of the world.


Amanda September 8, 2009 at 9:52 am

On rest days I usually try to go for a little walk or do some light yoga. Even if I am just walking instead of driving for an errand, I count that as extra movement!


Ellen September 8, 2009 at 9:52 am

i sometimes get caught in an exercise catch-22. i feel guilty for going on a run (am i pushing myself too hard?) and i also feel guilty for NOT (i’m just being lazy!) i guess that’s a reason to plan out my workouts/rest days in advance.

anyway, great post as usual! i would LOVE to win some chia seeds! thanks for the awesome giveaway.


Katie T September 8, 2009 at 9:53 am

taking rest days is hard!! i know i’m still working on overcoming the exercise guilt that comes with this. but when i do let myself take them – usually when i’ve had a killer all-day volleyball tournament the day before or something like that – then they feel great. note to self: rest is GOOD! thanks for being such a positive role model ange!!
ooh, and chia seeds = yummy. best little things ever.


Maureen September 8, 2009 at 9:53 am

On rest days I am cleaning the house or cutting the lawn which I think qualifies as a light workout. My favourite thing to do though is take the dog for a walk by the lake which is great for body and soul. Just ran out of chia seeds so this would be great to win.


Alicia September 8, 2009 at 9:55 am

I’m not a runner or a hardcore work out-er, so I don’t usually take a rest day, since most of my exercise comes from moving myself around doing what I need to during the day.
I <3 CHIA! :D


Sarah September 8, 2009 at 9:55 am

I like to take my dog on a long walk on my rest days. We move slow, so it’s not rigorous, but it shakes out my legs and releases all the lactic acid build up!


Victoria September 8, 2009 at 9:56 am

My rest days depend on the activity, when I tried 30 Day Shred for the first time I needed 2 days of rest. LOL

BTW – Thank you for the Healthy Swirl Pancake recipe! I make a batch on Sundays and freeze them to take to work with me for breakfast. I am no longer tempted by the donuts and they keep me full till lunch!


Nikki September 8, 2009 at 10:02 am

I’m not very good at ‘all out resting’ and neither is the husband, so I generally do something leisurely, if you will. Something like maybe a slow paced walk aroud our neighborhood or just the regular cleanin’ house (ugh!) As you said about yourself, I tend to crave a ‘do nothing’ day, but then get fidgetty quite quickly. I do find that I feel like I have more energy when I do something, rather than nothing…

Looking forward to the after work-out post!

Nikki :)


Kelsey September 8, 2009 at 10:03 am

my rest days typically involve lots of walking!!! anything to keep my muscles from freaking out on me :]


Courtney September 8, 2009 at 10:04 am

I had this exact issue on Sunday. Was supposed to be a rest day in my sprint triathlon training plan. But I was feeling good, wanted to move! But I know it is important to take that day off because this week will be full of intense exercise. However, I did walk the dogs 2 miles which I do every day and that kept my legs loose and I felt great getting some fresh air.
I hope I win the chia!!
Adventures in Tri-ing


Brandi C September 8, 2009 at 10:05 am

I take rest days a lot more frequently than I used and find that it makes me feel better. Typically I do light walking and stretching on my rest days. The walking is usually done while shopping at mall =]
So EXCITED about the Chia Seeds!


Kristie Lynn September 8, 2009 at 10:06 am

I usually play it by feel :) After a 12 mile run I had during half marathon training I was so antsy that I walked a few miles and went on a bike ride, but after an 8 mile run a couple weeks later all I wanted to do the next day was just sit and stretch. Either way I’m good as long as my body is good!


Nikkie September 8, 2009 at 10:06 am

Hi there! :)
On my rest days I find that after awhile I begin to feel very anxious and start to fidget. I have a hard time not feeling lazy on rest days. So typically I’ll start out indulging in some TV (which I don’t normally do), or I’ll lay around reading a magazine. When I feel like I need to move I’ll do some light housework, or run errands, window shop.. that kind of thing. Some days I’ll play tennis with J. We’re not very good so it’s no serious tennis match or anything, haha! So I guess for me, I start out resting and then end up doing light activity!
Have a great day!


Kristen @ Simply Savor September 8, 2009 at 10:07 am

i think when it comes to rest days it’s all about listening to your body. Some weeks my body is telling me i need complete rest, other weeks my body needs stretching so i’ll do light yoga. thanks for bringing up this topic !

i’d love to win chia seeds i’ve never tried them before!! thanks for the giveaway angela!


Morgan (lifeafterbagels) September 8, 2009 at 10:07 am

Since I’m new to running and never have time to hit the gym as often as I should, I’ve never given much thought to rest days. Thank you for the post because it’s definitely on my radar now

. . . and THANK YOU for the Chia Seeds giveaway, I’m crossing my fingers!


Susan September 8, 2009 at 10:07 am

Haha, glad to hear I’m not the only one who loves a lazy rest day :P With that said, I do find my muscles feel a lot less stiff when I let them recover through walking or gentle yoga. So I usually take one “lazy day” and one “active” day a week. My workout intesity always changes throughout the week too, so even my workouts can range from 25 minutes to 2 hours. I always make sure to eat lots on rest days as well. Some people eat less because they’re not burning as many calories, but I want to give my boy the fuel it needs to recover :) Besides, I’m always more hungry on my off days anyways! :P


Amy September 8, 2009 at 10:08 am

Oooh I really want to try the chia seeds! And I agree with you – I like to be super lazy on my rest days :)


Michele September 8, 2009 at 10:09 am

I take whole days off, because when I try to force myself into activity every day of the week, I fall off the wagon. I find I’m more likely to fit in physical activity on most days if I have scheduled days off. Moderation, of course!

Cool giveaway!


Abby September 8, 2009 at 10:13 am

I try to take one day off each week from a planned workout. I usually end up doing a good amount of stretching and sometimes walking on my “off” days. However, I never intend to complete any certain activites.
I also will throw in a random rest day if my body simply needs it. I find that taking a rest when my body is telling me to, pays off big-time in the long run.


Kate September 8, 2009 at 10:15 am

I have a difficult time taking true rest days, so I will try to do yoga on my days off. I love me some chia seeds!


Valerie (College Girl Eats) September 8, 2009 at 10:16 am

I think the most important thing to do is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If on your “rest” day all you want to do is sit on the couch, then do it! If you can do some light stretching or a walk around the block though, don’t hold back! We are all different fitness levels to begin with, so our rest levels are obviously going to be different as well. You know what’s best for you!


Corinne September 8, 2009 at 10:16 am

I find that while rest days from training is important, a walk around the park with my dog and BF or leisurely bike ride/rollerblade keeps my spirits up and increases my motivation to tackle training days without feeling like my body hasn’t moved in a while. I do find that I eat a lot more after intense training days!


T September 8, 2009 at 10:18 am

On rest days, I take advantage of the extra time I have. I sleep in a little (Mmmmm!) and then in the evenings, I’ll take a bath (to warm up my muscles a bit, lol) and spend some time stretching.


Sarah September 8, 2009 at 10:20 am

Sunday is my rest day…check out my blog post about it!

I also spend a lot of time in the kitchen on Sundays, making meals ahead of time for busy work weeks.


Paige September 8, 2009 at 10:21 am

I also just try to relax on my day of rest. I agree with the other comments–I love to just sleep in!

Chia seeds sound exciting! I’d love to give them a try.


Marina September 8, 2009 at 10:21 am

I don’t like rest days. I mean, I avoid them. I always think that I have to push more, do more, ride more…. I don’t realize that 4-5 days a week of exercise is great! I think that that’s like doing nothing. When I don’t workout, it’s always on days I can’t. Like when I have to go somewhere for the whole day, or something like this. My classes will start soon, so I won’t be able to workout everyday. Any rest will be well appreciated. I need to work on my psyche :D


Kerri September 8, 2009 at 10:22 am

My rest days vary in accordance to each week’s activity level. If I have run a LOT (or lifted a lot, not slept as much as I should, etc.) then I have a totally lazy (and even slightly lazy eating!) rest day. I may plop down with a good book, old movie, or my laptop for hours at a time. I take naps, eat a little ice cream, and enjoy my time off! I like to think of my rest days as an exercise just like anything else. If I want to get faster, stronger, or leaner I NEED to let my body heal (just like I need to pound the pavement, lift the weights, or cool down after a workout even when I don’t want to) Yes some rest days are rough because I am so used to being active — but they are VERY needed!

If I’ve slacked the whole week…maybe skipped a run, indulged in too many treats, etc. then I tend to have and “active” rest day. I may ride my bike at night, or do a light bit of yoga, etc. Just something to get me moving–just not sweating.


kristina September 8, 2009 at 10:22 am

hey!! on my rest days, i most definitely veg out if i want to! no guilt here on this end! i love chia seeds and my supply will soon need replenishing, so i’m so thankful for your giveaway!!


Amalia September 8, 2009 at 10:22 am

I’d love to try chia seeds! I don’t usually plan for rest days, but let them happen naturally when I’m too busy to fit in a workout!


mountain girl September 8, 2009 at 10:24 am

Love love love chia seeds! I like to joke about naming our next daughter Chia (we already have a Zia)!
Thanks for your awesome site- always a pleasure to read!


Leah @ L4L September 8, 2009 at 10:26 am

I have been trying to get my hands on some chia seeds for weeks! This would be amazing!!! Thanks for having such awesome give-aways, Angela!


Jess September 8, 2009 at 10:28 am

I think the approach to rest days should just be to listen to your body. Most likely, that is why you’re taking a rest day in the first place because you body is sore, fatigued, or you have worked out multiple days in a row and need a break. I like to practice yoga on my rest days because it really stretches my muscles and helps me to honor my body.


NySoonerGirl September 8, 2009 at 10:28 am

I have been searching and searching the local stores for some chia seeds-with no luck! Awesome contest!


Jennifer September 8, 2009 at 10:28 am

I usually swim on my rest days, I take it nice and slow and really enjoy the low impact on my joints.


Farah September 8, 2009 at 10:29 am

I usually do nothin’ much on my rest days. But if the opportunity comes up for a walk or something like that, I take it, because its usually a nice slow walk with family and what could be better than that?

And I’d love to try some chia seeds!


Brynn September 8, 2009 at 10:29 am

I’ve been wanting to try chia seeds forever and I can’t find them anywhere!


TanyaS September 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

I too like to use my rest days for pure laziness.

I love me some chia seeds, they are pretty pricey, so a 3lb bag would be a delightful loot to win!


Maggie September 8, 2009 at 10:31 am

I try to take one rest day a week but it all depends on how hard I push myself that week, I may end up taking two.
I usually have a total lazy day if I’ve worked hard that week but when I’ve been eating bad (like this weekend) I get a little anxious and have a bit of an active rest day. Yesterday was a rest day and I ended up going for a 25 minute run/walk, baked bagels, baked cookies, made hummus, made energy bars and cleaned the whole kitchen…but I gotta admit, this is pretty rare.


Tiffany September 8, 2009 at 10:33 am

I probably have more rest days than workout days :( I am curious about the chia seeds because when I hear chia, I think of Chia Pet.


cali September 8, 2009 at 10:35 am

i have to make sure and take 2 rest days each week – otherwise i burn out and have crappy workouts. i hate not enjoying my workouts so rest days are really key.


MonicainDallas September 8, 2009 at 10:38 am

I really love the idea of using the time you would have been working out to prep healthy foods for the next week. I love to cook, but I just don’t fit the time into my busy schedule to do it.


coco September 8, 2009 at 10:38 am

I rest two days a week from workouts! it’s nice and relaxing! :D


Beth September 8, 2009 at 10:39 am

I would love to try the chia seeds!!

I workout 4-5 days each week and let the rest days fall where they may. They’re not pre-scheduled and are taken based on what I have going on and how my body feels.


Barbara September 8, 2009 at 10:40 am

I take 1 day a week for active recovery day, this is where I’ll walk slowly for 3-40 min, nothing intense. I used to ignore my rest days but you get so much stronger when you let the body rest…it’s pretty amzing!


Claire September 8, 2009 at 10:40 am

I’m just one of those people who needs to move around everyday.I don’t like the way my body feels if it doesn’t get
movement for a full day.I like doing aerobic breathing or stretching of some sort.It’s a good day for me to run errands,too.That is me,though.I feel that the individual needs to do what their body tells them to


Martha September 8, 2009 at 10:43 am

Ugh I hate rest days… I get too figety!


Kristin D September 8, 2009 at 10:43 am

I’ve never tried chia seeds but have been reading about them for awhile on all the blogs. Would be nice to try them out.

I’m still a beginner when it comes to running, but I’ve found that when I get in a good walk on my rest days I have better runs. If I’m not very active on my rest day, I feel stiff and the runs go slower. Right now I’m doing the Couch to 5k program which has a rest day every other day. Hoping after I finish it I’ll be able to run more often.


TeriLyn September 8, 2009 at 10:45 am

I do yoga on one of my rest days and absolutely nothing on my other rest day. Yoga helps me get in much-neglected stretching and is also so relaxing. I deserve to relax, dang it! :)

I hope I win!


Gloria M September 8, 2009 at 10:46 am

I always try my best to fit in a couple of rest days, even though a lot of the time I feel like I should be out running or doing some form of exercise. But it’s true, our bodies deserve a break!

I’ve heard so much about chia seeds in the blog world lately, so I think it’s time for me to give them a try! :)


Lindsey (Mrs. LC) September 8, 2009 at 10:48 am

I tend to do some walking (on the lighter side – no hills, and prob around 3 mph) for a little bit on rest days, along with some light stretching. However, there are days (i.e. if I feel myself coming down with a head cold) where I can read my body and know better than to push at all.

I desperately want to try chia seeds!!!


Shelly September 8, 2009 at 10:50 am

Ooh! I’m totally curious about chia seeds! I haven’t been able to find them, but I’d love to win some!
I generally take Wed. as my rest day b/c I am usually wiped out by the middle of the week. Since I’m at work all day, I honestly like to come home, make dinner, and plop down on the couch with a book.
I do several light workout days as well. I usually go for some yoga or a quick elliptical workout if I’m not up for anything tougher. If I have the energy I warm up on the elliptical then go lift weights. This is is addition to my 1/2 marathon training schedule though so as long as I get my runs in, I’m trying to listen to my body and not push too much otherwise. I do want to incorporate more walks into my easy days though. I tend to not count them as exercise but I think I am underestimating the power of a long walk. :)


Biljana September 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

I typically do yoga on rest days. Weight training and running tend to make me tense and the yoga really helps. Aside from yoga, I like to go on long walks on rest days. Yay for Chia Seeds!


Susan September 8, 2009 at 10:56 am

My “rest days” pretty much mean a rest from running. I’ll usually go for a walk to get my legs moving and wore out some of the stiffness. Nothing too intense, but it makes me feel better. Stretching afterward is a must!


Sham September 8, 2009 at 10:58 am

Isn’t funny how resting is one of the hardest things for some people to do. I am one of those people but over the last couple of years have really learned the importance of listening to my mind and body. On my rest days, I focus on other things, such as reading, catching up with a movie, etc. If I do get anxious and need to release some energy I will go for a walk.

hope everyone makes time for some rest :)



Andrea September 8, 2009 at 10:58 am

I do a combination of total relaxation on rest days, and light activity. Some rest days, I might walk to the grocery store, for example, and others, I might do nothing at all! It really depends on how sore I am. If a rest day falls after a really hard workout, then I actually prefer to do some light activity to loosen up my muscles. Otherwise, the couch it is!


Christy September 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

On rest days I take a slower and more relaxing approach to exercise. I like to stretch and do some yoga moves. I will also take some of my favorite yoga poses and hold them for a few minutes and meditate. Also, I would love to try Chia seeds so I hope I get them!


Tonya September 8, 2009 at 11:04 am

I try to take a day once during the week and once on the weekends. I don’t technically excerise on my rest days, but with three young kids and a teaching job, I don’t exactly sit around much either. I truly believe rest days are essential for both physical and mental health.


CATIEDIDIT September 8, 2009 at 11:04 am

I definitely rest up, but I try to stretch a little and at least move a little bit. I’ve noticed that it keeps me from getting sore!


nellieshaul September 8, 2009 at 11:05 am

As a former track and xc runner, it’s always been ingrained in my head to take rest days and NEVER do anything outside of my training regimen. Rest days would often include a massage, if anything at all. I do think it’s true that over time, you can demand more of your body, with less rest as your fitness improves. This is how elite athletes can perform tough, twice-a-day workouts several days a week and ‘easy’ runs on their rest days. However, you have to build up to this gradually, and REALLY pay attention to recovery (i.e. nutrition, ice-baths, listening to your body, stretching, massage). It’s also important to periodize this over the year, where you have off months with less exercise….Rest is critical no matter what your level!


Audra September 8, 2009 at 11:05 am

I am brand new to the running world and I have been so impressed with your website. It has motivated me to run better, eat better and be better! Thanks for making this available. I really look forward to your posts!


Steph September 8, 2009 at 11:06 am

Yay for chia seeds! I have really been wanting to ty these little guys. =)


Kristin September 8, 2009 at 11:09 am

For me, my rest day is more of a mental rest day. I know it’s okay in my head if I don’t get a work out. But, because I have a dog I have to at least walk her so I do move at least a little!


Kyle Janet September 8, 2009 at 11:09 am

I love chia seeds, and I can think of quite a few holiday baking projects that I could add them to!


Michelle September 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

I usually don’t do anything even remotely strenuous on my rest days, but only because I want to be fresh and energized for my hard or long run the following day. I need to change my mentality and stop beating myself up, and realize it’s okay to take a real rest day and be a bum if I want to, even if I don’t have a long run coming up! We all need a break once in a while.

I’ve been wanting to try chia seeds, but they’re kinda pricey and I don’t really want to shell out the money for something I’m not sure I’ll even like. I’d love to win!


Diane September 8, 2009 at 11:19 am

I like to do a variety of things on my rest day, and I always try to keep it fun. Riding bikes with my husband, walking our dog, mushroom hunting, and exploring parks, just to name a few!


Kelly September 8, 2009 at 11:19 am

I’m notorious for over-training, so I take a required 2 days of rest every week. They’re always Saturday and Sunday — Saturday I spend cleaning, running errands, etc, so I’d say I’m pretty active on that rest day.
Sunday, though, I try to take it easy. I still walk my puppy 30 minutes every day — but honestly until I read it above in your post, I wasn’t really considering it part of an “active rest”.
I also make sure I go through all of my pirformis and hamstring stretches on a daily basis, regardless of activity.

So I was going to say “No, I don’t really do anything on my rest days” — but I guess that’s a lie! LOL


Lisa M September 8, 2009 at 11:20 am

How timely!
I went shopping yesterday and chia seeds were my latest food to try out but I couldn’t find they at Save-On.


Kristen September 8, 2009 at 11:20 am

I normally walk to school (half an hour one way) so on my “rest” days that I don’t run, I make sure to get that walking in just to clear my mind and for a good stretch =] sitting still all day makes me antsy and that’s not fun!!


Lindsay September 8, 2009 at 11:20 am

I usually play tennis or bike on my two rest days per week. I keep it light and fun. If I do feel like I need some additional rest I take an extra day and then pick back up.


The Healthy Hostess September 8, 2009 at 11:21 am

I am bad at rest days too but I plan them for times when I am really busy!


~carolyn~ September 8, 2009 at 11:24 am

Ha, just like you I took rest day as a day to lay around and “recover”. Then I started to hear more and more about active recovery days. I think there is some truth to keeping the muscles fresh. It is hard to change my mentality on that, but I do think it makes for the next workout not so hard.


elliebelle September 8, 2009 at 11:28 am

I never work out every day of the week, so I guess my rest days are already worked into my schedule. But I agree with you, there shouldn’t be any “rules” for rest days. You should do what you feel like. :)


Jenna September 8, 2009 at 11:32 am

Hey dear!

I have a past, like you, where I was semi-obsessed with working out. Since then, I try to really limit my exercise days to about five, taking two rest days. I think it is important to realize that balance, and that you don’t need to workout EVERYDAY to be healthy and happy!

Have a fabulous day!


M. September 8, 2009 at 11:33 am

Hmmm I wonder if wandering the CNE and eating a corn dog counts as light activity and focusing on nutrition? ’cause that’s how I spent my recovery day :)


Liz September 8, 2009 at 11:38 am

I had the same thoughts about that article. I happened to read it the day after a 7 miler. I too usually partake in lazy rest days- but I thought the author had some good points. I ended up doing some light activity and stretching with some living room yoga in my pjs.


[email protected] September 8, 2009 at 11:39 am

I take 3 days off a week. The “rest” days are varying activity and though I try, I rarely ever get in a lazy day which I really need!


Kady September 8, 2009 at 11:43 am

I find that on my ‘rest’ days I was more like you in that I relished in doing little to ziltch activity over and above maybe some stretching of sore muscles. Instead of having all-out rest days though, I have sprinkled in ‘easy’ days once in a while where I go for a long walk instead of a run or other cardio- just to break things up and not burn out. I guess as it turns out I was taking an active rest, and just not thinking of it as ‘rest’ ! I find that going on a walk on my easy days helped me stay on track and made it easier to hit the gym the next day than having an all out sluggy rest day.

I am excited at the possibility of the Chia Seed give-away. I recently ordered a 1lb bag of seeds from but they never came. Its been a month and I need to check on what the problem is!


Mel September 8, 2009 at 11:43 am

My typical rest days, usually Saturdays, include taking our puppy for a nice long walk and enjoying the sunshine and catching up with my husband. This always comes after an hearty breakfast of blueberry pancakes (vegan of course) and decaf coffee (yumm!!). Although, I must admit that these days my rest days have been taken over by my obsession with 24!! My husband and I can’t get enough, we’re addicted, so we end up on the couch all day. But I think I’d still consider this “active recovery” since it’s not at all relaxing and gets the heart pumping a bit for sure!!

PS… would love to try chia seeds in my next green monster ;)


Alex September 8, 2009 at 11:45 am

Like you, I used to deny myself rest days, and sure enough (just like my mum warned me!), I BURNED OUT. Like, big time.
I got mono, and I could exercise properly for months, and even after I was technically virus free, I didn’t have the same energy as before.

My lifestlye now is much more relaxed in terms of exercise. Other than yoga, I prefer not to “work out” per se, I just have a really active lifestyle. This seems to suit me much better, and strangely enough (or maybe not), my body looks and feels better than ever!

I think active rest days are wise though, especially if your main work out involves lots of repetitive, strenuous movement (like cycling or running). If this is the case, parts of your body become very strong, but other parts may suffer by becoming very tight, so it’s important to “counter exercise” by stretching out the tight parts, giving a rest to the over-worked parts, and strengthening the neglected parts. I think yoga is great for this kind of balancing.

Take care of yourself, Angela!



lora September 8, 2009 at 11:46 am

my rest days are usually for biking or elliptical training so that my knees don’t get injured. If I just rest, I feel kinda lazy in a bad way? haha I just try and get some sort of activity in, because if I weren’t training for a half marathon, I would normally be a fairly active person anyway.



elaine September 8, 2009 at 11:46 am

I like to do absolutely nothing on my rest days. Or as close to nothing as possible. Even if I feel a little stiff the next day, for me, mentally it’s the way to go.


Sue September 8, 2009 at 11:46 am

On my rest days I try to think about how great my workout will be the next day…and I walk my dog!
Thanks for the contest!


Majl September 8, 2009 at 11:47 am

On my rest day, I take a break from exercise but lose myself in other things that I neglect, like, sitting down and enjoying a coffee at a local coffee shop, reading a book, making a new recipe, and even calling friends and family to chat.


Melissa September 8, 2009 at 11:48 am

I personally don’t see anything wrong with flat out just taking a REST day! You know your body and if its calling for rest that’s what it needs. (or maybe I am just lazy?) LOL!

I would love to give chia seeds a try! :)


Mary September 8, 2009 at 11:51 am

I usually fit in an hour of exercise during the school week before classes (which means a 5:20 wake up!) By the end of the week, I’m drained so I use the weekend for rest (days). Instead of cardio in the AM, I’ll do some light yoga. On Saturday’s I might add in some light cardio in the afternoon and then completely relax and refuel on Sundays.


Carolyn September 8, 2009 at 11:55 am

I vacillate… Some rest days I look at as simply days off of running, and I do gentler exercise like biking or walking. Some rest days I hardly move at. all. Generally, I’ve found that getting in some movement makes me feel the best (as in not so tight for my next run + overall improved mental state), but I try to take complete days off due to my tendency toward being obsessive.

(P.S – I’d love some chia seeds in my kitchen, I can’t find them here!)


Kristen R. September 8, 2009 at 11:56 am

If you want to spend your rest day watching movies and reading books, do it! If you’re itching to move a little, take a walk or go for a short bike ride. If you do what your body tells you to do, you can’t go wrong.


Sami September 8, 2009 at 11:57 am

Well, Ang, according to that article, I’ve been doing it all wrong! Haha. I prefer, if possible, on rest days to lay around in my PJs watching old movies and giving my muscles a chance to recoop! :) It’s always felt beneficial to me! :)


Kat - Curves for Life September 8, 2009 at 11:57 am

On my rest days I still walk because I like to get outside especially if it is nice out and it is my mode of transportation most of the time. I take rest days whenever I want to though. :-)

I just ran out of chia seeds – hope I win some!!!


Amanda September 8, 2009 at 11:58 am

I take rest weekends and I don’t feel guilty about it. I work hard all week (at work and working out), so I thoroughly enjoy my weekends.


Lexi September 8, 2009 at 11:59 am

I always forget about rest. I have the mentality of “the more the better”. This article really opened my eyes. This is especially important since I am new to running & I teach so many group fitness classes. For my active rest days I usually walk, practice light yoga, or do an intense session (like 1 hr) of full body stretching. That way I am not stressing my body, but I am not just lounging.
Thanks for the article summary, & thanks for the chia seed giveaway. I’ve been wanting to try them for so long!


Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness September 8, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Ch-ch-ch-chia! I’ve been waiting for a chia seed giveaway :-)

On rest days, I like to take my dog out for a quick walk, do some gentle yoga poses or light lap swimming to help my muscles flush out the lactic acid that causes soreness. Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day, but I did some strenuous yoga and pulled my lower back – ouch!

Have a great day.

Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness


eliza September 8, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I feel like I need to do something. SO, I often consider lifting weights a day off… Or, a hike or bike ride on the weekends instead of running!


Urban Girl September 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I love your blog! Thanks so much for writing. I am definitely an all out rester. Sometimes I try to do some stretching, since I don’t focus on that enough, but mostly I just take it easy. Well-deserved, I say.

I have never tried chia seeds…hopefully I’ll get the chance now!


Heather September 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I do nothing. Flat out lazy.


Reese September 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I do a 3 day on 1 day off week. By that time I need a rest for sure. I do usually take my dog for a work and maybe use that day to clean up the house but for the most part I just veg.


Angela September 8, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I think rest days are really important. It is hard to slow down sometimes, but overall performance will improve with some much needed rest time, especially when intensely training!

I <3 chia seeds in my oatmeal!


OrganicAshley September 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I think its really important to listen to your body if your body is saying I just need to lay around or its saying wow what a nice day I really want to go for a walk then do it. I feel like so many of us follow too many “rules” about what we “should” do.

Oh man this poor college student would love a giant bag of chia seeds!!


Jess September 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I usually run 3 days a week, cross train 3 days a week and take one day completely off. Although depending on my schedule and post-injury body, it sometimes works out to more than one rest day…


Lauren September 8, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I usually mix it up, but if I did a really hard workout the day before and am so sore the next day, I like to take a little walk because otherwise I feel like the muscles stay more sore and for a longer time period. Light walking and stretching for me!


Kristin (Kristins Nibbles) September 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I do participate in active rest days, for the most part. I’m a big fan of talking long, easy walks- so I guess what I’m doing is right on! I don’t stretch enough though… I need to get on that!

I want chia seeds too! I have yet to try them!!



Kristy September 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Rest days…ahhh. If you have earned them, definitely take them! I would love some chia seeds as I have not tried them yet. I am sure they would give me and my green monster a boost!


Kayzilla September 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I only have one rest day a week.. I really don’t need more then that.. So when I do have it, I take that time to do simple, productive things that make me feel good. Small walk to a park that I’ve been wanting to go to, cleaning the bathroom like I was supposed to three weeks ago (you have no idea how gross our bathroom is right now roflmao), organizing my very messy closet, dancing my heart out.

Of course, there are days that I actually do nothin’. I mean, sometimes my body just says “Hey kaylee. Sit yo buns down on that comfy couch over there and watch trashy VH1 shows.” to which I respond “Well, if you insist… ♥”


I reckon you should do what you want, and if it feels good.. keep it up! If it doesn’t, then change it. Your body knows what’s up.


Cyndie September 8, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Good timing on the post, as I am just realizing I need to give my body some more rest during my marathon training. I used to really overdo-it on rest days, but now I take it easy. What I do on my rest days often depends on how busy I am. If I have a lot of free time, I’ll go for a walk or bike. If I’m too busy, I won’t worry about it.


EL September 8, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I like to schedule my active rest days around my cleaning schedule. I found the doing house work is a good active recovery. It gets me moving, but not out of breath.


Sara September 8, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I have a very hard time resting… as in sitting still or vegging out. I have a 5 year old and a 8 month old so the days I don’t run or exercise I’m still running after the young ones!! I did recently “sleep in” (till 7:00.. I usually put my running shoes on at 4:45) and I didn’t feel one bit of guilty!! I loved every second of my “no exercise” day!!


Mellissa September 8, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I try to at least go for a short walk or just do something, it helps with some of the soreness for weight lifting. I would love to win the chia seeds too!


Val September 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm

When I’m training for long runs I usually do an all out rest day, but when I’m just working out for healthy lifestyle purposes, I usually do a light activity on my rest day…it sounds like I might have it backwards according to the article!


sarah m September 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm

I like my rest days to be JUST rest days. Otherwise, I will find myself falling into the “Well, I walked 2 miles on my last rest day, lets do 3 this time….etc” trap. Pretty soon I’m running a marathon on my rest day (not REALLY, but you know what I mean!). However, I find that if I don’t HAVE to do any structured physical activity, that I end up moving around more, naturally, than I would if I had worked out that day. Cleaning, baking, shopping, etc. Maybe I just have a little more energy to spend on tasks that seem a bit more daunting when I have a workout day? Who knows!
I’ve bee DYING to try chia seeds. That would be awesome!!


Teresa September 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I do a yoga session to stretch out all my muscles or if the weather is nice I go to the beach with friends and just enjoy the water…maybe a lil kayaking or just playing beach volleyball.


Pam at Highway to Health September 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Hmmm I usually rest on rest days but this sways my mind a little bit! Maybe I will take a nice easy walk and do some stretching. Thanks for posting!


Lana September 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I usually do light yoga or walking. I’m a college student on a big campus, so getting to class fills the quota on rest days. I love the relaxation and stretching that yoga provides.

I just started reading your blog and ABSOLUTELY love your inspiration!!!

I’ve never had chia seeds but would love to test out some of your recipes with them!!!


Adriana September 8, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I must admit, I never really take a lazy rest day. I always prefer to do some activity whether it be a long day of shopping or doing light weight.


Anne K. September 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I like active rest days! I’ll usually just walk, do some stretching, and probably foam rolling, too.


Jess September 8, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I only have one true rest day a week where i do nothing to physical, the rest of the days i mix up my workouts, it really helps me control my stress if I get up and do something


angiolle September 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm

On my rest days I usually do yoga and go for walks at the park. I find it very relaxing!

I love chia seeds, I consume them on a daily basis!!!


Robin September 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I think most days are rest days for me, I need to find my exercise days.


Lauren L September 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I try to lead a naturally active lifestyle (i.e. I walk just about everywhere, only take stairs, etc.) so for me, “rest days” are just days I don’t intentionally workout, but I’m moving nonetheless!


Ryan @ Greens for Good September 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Ooo Chia Seeds! I’ve never had them and would love to try some!


kirby September 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Hi! I just added OSG to my Reader a few weeks ago and have been enjoying your posts – I’ve been adding spinach to my smoothies (not quite GM’s) and love the added veg boost!

Would love to try Chia Seeds… thanks for sharing!


Keri September 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm

When I was an avid runner, rest days were “non-running” days. I love Chia seeds and when I went to buy my first stash, I walked in the health food store and asked for “Chai seeds”. I felt like such a dork when the nice man corrected me C-H-I-A, but it was funny.


Theresa September 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I have not found a good balance between exercise and rest. I usually over-exercise and then am sore and burnt out and do nothing for a few days. Not the best routine.


Liz O September 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I typically take a body sculpting class on my “rest” days. I am a runner, so for me, these classes are a rest from cardio. We lift weights, work our abs and stretch – but I am never out of breath or sweaty like with cardio/running. I think of it as a little treat to go in there and just lift/stretch.

I just finished my chia seeds last night – love those little guys!


Krista September 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm

I will usually go for a walk or bike ride on rest days, but that’s never written in stone. Sometimes I just veg out on the couch!


Paige @ Running Around Normal September 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm

On my rest days, I don’t actively try to be active, haha. I’ll walk the dog a little longer or clean a little more, but this is only because I have more time, not because I want to get in more activity.

Yay for the chia seeds giveaway! :D


kellie September 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I am training for a half marathon. On the days I don’t run, I will lift weights, bike, or work out on the elliptical. I take Sunday’s off completely, though!! For me, it really works and I think my body thanks me for it!


Viddy September 8, 2009 at 12:56 pm

I mostly do nothing! I enjoy the thought of being able to catch up school work. Every now and then I’ll go for a short walk but for the most part, I take the term rest day to heart.


Kate September 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I have been dying to try chia seeds and can’t find any around me,so I think this would be perfect for me! :)

On my rest days from training I usually do nothing because I arrange my rest days around the days of the week I have work and plans after work. I wish I could motivate myself to get up early and do some yoga, but I just never can!


Holly September 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm

interesting rest day article! i kind of take both approaches – i don’t mind going for walks or doing some yoga or something like that on rest days, but ONLY if i want to. sometimes, i do nothing at all!

awesome giveaway…need me some chia in my life!


Micco September 8, 2009 at 12:59 pm

I’m eyin’ those chia seeds, but this information sure was useful!


whirrly September 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm

rest days can be tricky indeed. i’m with you – when i am going to rest, i want to make it count! but i can also see where light movement can help. i tend to get stiff if i don’t move around a bit, so a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood usually helps.


Ariel September 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm

The gym that I go to is near my work so I tend to rest on the weekend. Sometimes I will just lounge around but usually I’ll do something like at least once, like a session with my husband or a casual walk around the neighborhood.

I love chia seeds – my current favorite way to eat them is to mmake chocolate pudding with greek yogurt, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, cinnamon, and chia seeds to thicken it up. Yum!


liane September 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm

I have two scheduled rest days… one day is always immediately following my long training run. If the long run is less than 10K though i will normally hit up the gym for a spin class the evening of the rest day. On sunday i ran 18K (in the pouring rain!!) and trust me, i did NOTHING remotely resembling exercise yesterday. ha ha

On the second rest day, it’s usually following a hill/pace training day, and that day I use as my meal prep and grocery shopping day instead of hitting the gym. I find that when I plan out my meals and do one big shop I am way more focused on eating healthy and not picking up fast unhealthy choices.



*Andrea* September 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm

on my “Rest” days i like to go for a leisurely walk with friends just to take in nature :)

great contest! i have never tried these chia seeds but you make them look so yummy


Charline September 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Interesting article!

I have been looking everywhere for Chia seeds and can NOT find them anywhere in my small town. Would LOVE to win these!


Ashley September 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Hi Angela! On rest days, I still walk my dog in the morning and evening- just not for the usual 3 miles each. I LOVE your blog and would love to try chia seeds :)


Kat September 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I generally do some type of activity on rest days; light walk, gentle yoga (not hot or power). I find that if I don’t do anything I get in bed at night and can’t sleep because i haven’t burned off some extra energy.


Becky September 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I do some type of activity on the rest days. Usually it is just walking my dog outside, it does both of us some good!


Annalisa September 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm

I usually do some sort of activity on a rest day like take the dog on a hike or massive shopping :-)


Monica September 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm

It is hard for me to take a rest day… my mind is way to active! Movement helps to calm me…. I always end up doing something–even if it is just a quick elliptical session…

I want to get my hands on those seeds! My whole foods has been out of them!


Karen September 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I like walking on my off days (my two dogs certainly appreciate it), but when I’m training for a big race (i.e. marathon) I think it’s important to take at least 1-2 days of absolute laziness to let my legs heal up! Also, some days I just let my body tell me what it needs. If I’m feeling run down and terribly achey, I’ll give myself the day off.


Diana September 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm

On rest days, I rest (and go for a brisk walk with the dogs – that happens every day).


Becca R. September 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm

when i’m feeling lazy, i let myself be lazy, but i also try to stretch, etc. on those days, but who says you can’t stretch while watching tv, thats my favorite. hope i win, i’ve wanted to try chia seeds all summer!


Katie September 8, 2009 at 1:27 pm

I usually try to do something on my days off… even if it just walking around a shopping center!


jodie September 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Sometimes I will do nothing on my day off, full and complete laziness and another time I will do light stretching or clean the house.

Chia seeds, would love some.:)


Sam September 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm

My rest days vary. I’m perfectly content with sitting on the couch watching marathons of Law and Order or getting out and going for a nice walk with the BF. It all depends on my mood. I let my body do the talking and whatever happens, happens. I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to my off days.


Mariel September 8, 2009 at 1:31 pm

It really depends, but on most of my rest days, I’ll get about 30 minutes of walking in, since I walk home from work most days.


Andrea September 8, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Yesterday for me was a really good example as to why I personally can not do absolutely nothing on a rest day. It was the first time I decided to basically not move from the couch. As a result, I got bored and completely overate and feel terrible today. Lesson learned. I know how to approach a rest day next time. I know for me, incorporating something productive such as going for a walk or even window shopping works best to keep me occupied.

I have wanted to try chia seeds for so long and haven’t made a trip to one of the stores that carries them. I have plenty of ideas of how to incorporate them into food!


Katie September 8, 2009 at 1:33 pm

I DESPISE rest days!! I am a naturally nervous person and have too much energy and get jittery, buuut I also have bad joints so I make myself take them. I pushed too hard last week and took yesterday off (just walked the dog) and today my knee is sore and bruised I can barely walk on it so a day on the couch it is for me :( I’m beyond bummed. I don’t do rest well.


Meg September 8, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I’m so excited about this giveaway! Chia seeds are dang expensive!


SnowKat September 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Would love to win the chai seeds! I make my own granola-ish bars (not as good as yours, obviously… but I try) and would like to add them as an ingredient. I once got a tiny little sample… yeah, those were gone in about 2 days.

As far as rest days go, if I feel like being a couch potato… I do it. If I feel like walking or cleaning… I do it. I try my best to just listen to my body. I have to admit, sometimes my body is screaming out for a total lazy day, but life will not permit. I try my best to listen, and I feel it really helps the next days workout.


Debbi September 8, 2009 at 1:40 pm

On my “rest days” I usually walk 30 minutes and do some pilates or yoga.
I’d love to win the chai seeds – never tried them.


Alyson September 8, 2009 at 1:42 pm

On my rest days I like to do some cleaning, i always feel that is a bit of a workout, getting my blood pumping, lol. But i do like to take a walk and do some light yoga, to really get the blood moving through my body and muscles.

We have a co-op here in davis, and the chia seeds are so expensive, so i bought hemp instead. Aren’t chia seeds the same thing they use is chia pets? Do you sprout your seeds?


Heather S. September 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

On my rest days, I’m often doing housework, chores, shopping, etc — so even if I’m “resting”, I still feel exhausted at the end of the day!


Heidi September 8, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Rest days are for rest!! I allow myself 2/week :)

Just stumbled upon your blog this past weekend and LOVE IT!!!


Alison September 8, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I might do yoga or I might just take the whole day off. Sometimes I plan rest days around my schedule when I know I’m not going to have time work out. If I’m resting before a big race then I take the day completely OFF.

I got my Runner’s World today too! Turn to the top of page 71! That’s ME! :D


Alison September 8, 2009 at 2:03 pm

WHOOPS I meant page 73. (Run For All – “Volunteer at a Race”) ;)


maria September 8, 2009 at 1:50 pm

i try to rest once a week. in an effort to maintain my fitness momentum i make sure to take a brisk walk and do some stretching/loosening yoga poses on those days.

periodically, maybe once a year, i have an all out rest day. it’s my day to be a lazy slug and do nothing at all. it’s usually when i need more of a mental recharge than a physical one!


Jessica September 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I still have to chase a 3.5 & 1.5yr old on my rest days :) Yoga is definitely my form of “rest”. Even though I typically do hot power yoga it still feels like rest and gives me my “me” time.


Jessica Ladelfa September 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm

My rest days consist of church, cleaning, and pretty much sitting my butt on the couch and being lazy ;). I love them and I think we need them both physically and psychology. I think sometimes we forgot to relax our minds from working out and to me mind gets cleared on rest days. I just feel more motivated and pumped after rests but recognize to each their own. I love that you took this article with a grain a salt and I completely agree with you.

Yay for Chia seeds though! I love them and they are my new favorite seeds.


Megzz @ Megzz Wins At Life September 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm

On my rest days I like to take a walk with my mommy at night!


Tiffany September 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I like to take a walk on my rest days because if I don’t move at all or get out of the house at least once everyday, I get very fidgety.


Ryane September 8, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I only formally exercise 2 days/week but try to do something active every other day – coed sports, walking, hiking, swimming for fun… but I have no problem just sitting around with a movie if that’s what I feel like!


Karen September 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I learned the hard way about over-training and not resting, as I now have 2 stress fractures in my ankle. I think it’s totally OK to do nothing, but I can’t imagine a day without at least taking a walk. I also like to do Yoga on rest days.


Karen September 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Sorry, not sure why my comment posted as a reply.


Lindsay (Whim&Waffles) September 8, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I walk a mile to and from work each day, so I consider that the “active” part of active rest. Otherwise, on rest days I definitely take it easy.


kk September 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I’ve been wanting to try chia seeds! Anyways, on my rest days I try to do errands so that I am at least walking a bit more than I usually do.


Tay September 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Awesome giveaway! Chia seeds have been so popular lately. I take serious rest days as what they are – seriously! I REST!! If it’s the day after a long run, then no activity for me. If it’s a day in the middle of the wek, I might try and get in a teeny bit of ab work or something, but nothing strenuous. Bodies need to recover!!


Ashlee September 8, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I have a hard time with rest days. I definitely take them but have a hard time not beating myself up for them. I try to do yoga or pilates and the pup usually gets a walk.

I am so interested in chia seeds, but I live in a small town where none can be found. I am definitely going to take a look into Chia Seeds Direct!


Mona September 8, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I love chia seeds, but haven’t had time with my two kiddies to replenish my stock! So here goes nothing.:-)

I find that if I do *nothing* on rest days, it is a lot harder to pick up and work out the day after. I try and do something very light, like walking or using the elliptical machine at a more leisurely pace. Yoga is a great recovery activity for me too.

Thanks for having this contest!


Elizabeth Edith September 8, 2009 at 2:31 pm



Hallie September 8, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Wow cool new layout! Guess it’s been awhile since I’ve stepped away from Google Reader :-)

I take one rest day a week, ideally…but sometimes less. I’ll walk my doggie on a “rest” day, but it’s not a stroll…we hike it up a big hill and it gets my HR going. I want to try to take more rest days in the future, but with my current exercise plan and weight-loss goals, it seems I’m moving as much as I can…and so far it’s been ok.


jvegegirl September 8, 2009 at 2:36 pm

On rest days I like to do short, quick runs and stretch A LOT. I think active recovery is spot on–keeps my muscles from tightening up from the mileage and speedwork.


Sam September 8, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Mmmmm chia seeds. I usually take a rest day and lounge, watching tv, cooking, etc. Occasionally walking the dog too- nothing too extreme!


Allison September 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I agree, rest days can be tough!! I’m currently training for a marathon while dealing with a nasty IT band and resting has become WAY more important than the actual running! As much as I know I need to keep my feet out of my running shoes, I can’t help but stare at them longingly every chance i get! :) Thanks for the great giveaway. LOVE your blog.


Charm City Kim September 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I just read that article over the weekend too!

I’m training for my first marathon and it took a few weeks for me to really appreciate the “rest day”. I’ve always been the type of person that feels like they need to exercise (at least a bit) everyday so the idea of not doing anything was crazy to me. But now that I’m logging more miles… I have embraced the rest day and definitely rest (although I leisurely walk my dogs).


Nina September 8, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I find my performance definitely improves when I take regular days off from running. I usually do some relaxing yoga or pilates on my rest days.
I would love to try those chia seeds! :)


Katie September 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Its about 50-50 with me! Sometimes I’ll go on a short, easy walk (to the post office and back) and/or stretch/do some easy yoga. Other times the only active thing I do is stretch out on the couch and read!


maggie September 8, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I feel rest days are really important! I use to shun them like they were the worst thing ever but now I see the benefit of them. I too, coming from an obcessive background, feel that I shouldn’t “have” to force myself to do activity on these rest days. So if I don’t want to…I don’t. But often I do find if I do some type of activity then the next day I still have energy. It keeps me more stable I suppose. So I guess it depends on the person…depends on their fitness level. For me I just let my body decide.

PS: Sooo excited about the Chia…like OHMYGOSHHHHH excited! Thanks.



Rita September 8, 2009 at 3:06 pm

I have a hard time just doing nothing all day. While I do take a recovery day from running, I will go for short walks or do yoga.


Sarah September 8, 2009 at 3:07 pm

I’m like you – on rest days, I like to REST! I typically will do no “exercise” but keep to my usual light activity (walking to the grocery store, taking a nice leisurely stroll, etc) that I do everyday anyway. I love love LOVE my lazy days and wouldn’t trade them for the world!


Hayley September 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I don’t consider myself an avid exerciser but still firmly believe in rest days. As you’ve mentioned many times in the past, the most important point is to listen to your own body. Magazine articles can tell us otherwise, but in the end it’s you that has to live with the repercussions.

On another note, I’ve been dying to try those chia seeds but can’t seem to find them in stores here.


N.D. September 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Instead of resting, I cross train, do yoga or do a shorter workout :)


Jess September 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm

sometimes I think I take too many rest days! But, I also think that it’s important to listen to your body. If I feel like doing something easy, i will, but most times I just chill out and read. AHHH, reading!


Dotsie September 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I take TOO MANY rest days! Hahaha!!! On my rest days, I don’t do a thing.

I just got the new Runner’s World-I’ll check it out soon!


Courtney September 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I love rest days…maybe too much! Lol!

Thanks for an awesome giveaway!


junghwa September 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm

i’m a type of person who cannot sit still even for a sec. So on my rest days, i do yoga and walking with friends. It’s always fun to have buddies so you could talk and enjoy beautiful sunshine together!

I used to get obsessed with exercising and not giving my body a needed rest at all. This definitely led me to INJURIES and now I learned the hard way that recovery days are ESSENTIAL in healthy lifestyle.


Steph September 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm

It really depends on my mood! Some days I love being lazy, other days I can’t stand not getting some sort of exercise. On those days, I do something like yoga. I really just listen to my body the best I can :)


Maria Ann September 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

hooray for chia! I really try to stretch it out on rest days as to avoid injuries!


Katie September 8, 2009 at 3:34 pm

My rest day attitude all depends on my plans and mood for that day. If I’ve been extremely busy and tired from kicking butt in the gym all week, I take total advantage of not doing any activity that requires a change of clothes and a shower.

However, lately, I’ve been more fidgety on my rest days and take absolute advantage of going for a long walk or doing some light yoga or strength training moves.


Ann September 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Hi Angela,

On rest days, I do some light walking or yoga or stretching.

Thanks for the great giveaway.


sara September 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Hey Angela, would love to win this bag of chia seeds! Thanks for the chance… on rest days I usually take it realllllly slow, and only exercise if i need to go somewhere- then i might walk or bike.


Nicole McAllister September 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I love, love, love my rest day!!!! I take every Sunday off. I try to stay in my PJ’S until at least 10am or 11am (I get up with my 15 month old every day at 5:30am). Then I take a shower while Gabriel naps. After lunch we take a three mile walk to Starbucks for some milk and tea. That’s my only “exercise” for the whole day. Heaven!!!
P.S. I have never tried chia seeds and would love to!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm

I am going to be doing a contest that just may by chance include a chia seed giveaway…I wanted to wait to start mine til yours and Kristin’s is done and mine starts tomorrow. There’s a lotta chia goin’ on in the blogosphere right now :) Would love to hear your fave chia recipes!


Ali September 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm

For my rest days, I usually still walk to work and home (when it is not freezing out). So, that is about 5 miles combined. But, no running or weight training. Sometimes on my rest days, I will do some LIGHT Hatha Yoga. Mostly, because it helps me relax mentally. Since running is a way to relieve my stress, when I don’t run I have a hard time shutting my brain off at night, so the Hatha helps.

Good Topic!


Allison September 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm

I find that active rest is always better for me- a relaxing walk, a leisurely bike ride, or some gentle yoga. After a day of laying around doing nothing, I actaully feel a bit sore and achy. I would love to win the chia-love that chocolate chia pudding. Yum!


Kelly September 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm

I usually do yoga on my rest days. What a great giveaway!


Caroline September 8, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I have found that if I’m super sore, going for a walk helps me be less so the next day.


Sara September 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm

I try to catch up on laundry on my rest days. It’s a chore that needs to be done, but is not strenuous. I love to fold while I watch my trashy tv! :)


Deborah September 8, 2009 at 4:01 pm

I LOVE CHIA SEEDS! And I take 1-2 full rest days a week!


Kait September 8, 2009 at 4:06 pm

CHIA SEEDS! I have had my eye on these for months but they just don’t fit into my college student budget. On rest days the most I will do is a little yoga or a walk. I feel like it is a day earned for all the hard work I put forth all the other days!


Erin September 8, 2009 at 4:10 pm

On rest days I usually try to go for a walk or do some yoga. However, I’m also known to just veg out on the couch and watch re-runs.


Kelly September 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I just started actually taking a rest day. I used to use the excuse of “active rest” days. I became very obsessive about working out 7 days a week. Recently my knees started giving me touble from my intense workouts 7 days a week. So I gave myself a break (the first in over 2 years). It worked. My knees stopped hurting even though I went absolutely nuts not being able to ride my cardio bike, do Pilates or anything else. Now Wednesdays are my off day and I practice meditation. I’m not very good at it. I only lasted 5 breath cycles last week. This is only my second week doing this. I’m doing it as part of a 30 day challenge so that I give it a fair shot. At the end of the 30 days (September) I will evaluate how I liked it and how it worked.

I’m going to have to try chia seeds. They are all the rage on blogs these days.


emily September 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Cha cha cha chia!


Alexia September 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Walking, yoga and swimming are my usual rest day activities. After my long runs I like to take the next day off and go for short walks to keep my muscles from stiffening and spend about 20-30 min doing some serious stretching, especially with the foam roller. It is insanely painful but nothing works as well as the roller to loosen up those tight hamstrings and glutes! And of course I catch up on sleep (naps always help) and spend tons of time preparing delicious healthy meals!


natalie September 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm

I loved this post, thanks for sharing. I just had a few off days and I worked really hard to let my body rest by doing a lot of the things you posted. Eating right, getting enough sleep…etc. It feels good to treat your body good. I am coming to realize that the better I am to my body, the better it will be to me! :) Thanks for all your insight! natalie


Tanya September 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm

The day after an intense workout I take the time to really pamper myself. I tend to eat very healthily the days I workout, but on rest days I crave sweets like no other and tend to veg on the couch with a good book. I find that indulging myself on rest days really amps up my energy for subsequent workouts!


Amandamoo September 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Hmmm… I suppose I have active rest days because I walk my dog around our park at least once per day and that is 1.5 miles. If it’s a real rest day though, that’s the only exercise I do.


paige September 8, 2009 at 4:43 pm

I usually take one day a week off from intense exercise, but I try to do something active even then. I live in this great neighborhood where everything is within walking distance. I’ll go 10 blocks to the local library and back, or I’ll walk to grab groceries. During the summer I was jumping in the lake and swimming a few laps. It doesn’t feel like exercise, but it’s good to get out and keep moving!


Erica September 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm

My rest days are for resting, but I am usually itching to do some activity. Usually I am really ready to workout again after a day off!!!


Kris September 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Hi Ange,

I definately think that this article could send the wrong message to some people. Especially in a world where people often struggle with eating and exercise disorders. It is eas to get caught up in it all and to think that it is never enough. I remember when I use to think that exercising 3 times a week was alot. Then you get to 3 days a week and all of a sudden you think you need to do it 5 times. It just escalates from there. It is important to know when enough is enough. The struggle is being comfortable with what is good for you and trying not to compare yourself to everyone else.



Shae September 8, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I agree with you that a rest day is crucial to staying energized and feeling good for the next workout, especially if it was an intense or long run/training session. Thanks for the insight!


hannah September 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I can stand doing NOTHING all day. So, no rest days, I will walk at lunch or walk to the store…just to get the blood flowing!


Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope September 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I like to take a rest day to go for a walk, or do something more relaxing that I feel benefits me more mentally than physically. Being a healthy, well-balanced person is more than just nutrition and exercise!

LOVE Chia seeeds!!! :D



Lindsay September 8, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I looove couch days. I in fact take more couch days than are probably necessary, but the dogs do get walked most every day, and some rest days are really not with a swim or yoga or Zumba class. I am interested to see what your breakdown for immediately after a workout is…after a long run my 0-7minutes is normally collapse on couch and have inner conflict about “strides/stretching/icing/eating” versus “fall into sweaty coma”.


Korrie September 8, 2009 at 5:19 pm

I think it is really important to listen to your own body in regard to rest days. Everyone will tell you something different! I usually take it easy on rest days with no “scheduled exercise,” but I still remain active throughout my day. I definitely think that having a little activity and not a “go into a coma” rest day helps your body and mind!


MaryHelen September 8, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Since I’m training for St. Jude 1/2 in December, I love my rest days. I generally will do a 20 min yoga for runners or detox yoga from on my rest days. Today my son is sick (prob the flu…) so I took a TRUE rest day, even a NAP!!!! We love chia seeds, I have my husband and kids eating them on their cereal, sprinkled in soup, etc!


N.M. September 8, 2009 at 5:24 pm

My rest days are Wednesdays and Sundays which I use for cleaning the house and yard work, so I guess that counts as some form of exercise. I can’t stand being inactive all day!:)


Alena September 8, 2009 at 5:24 pm

I like to do yoga but sometimes end up doing nothing instead! I would love to try out chia seeds!


Leanne September 8, 2009 at 5:27 pm

I require rest days. I need one day every so often where I zone out.

As for exercise rest days… I try to have a day off of running every other day. I will walk, bike or do nothing those days.

I think they are neccesary.


Liz September 8, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I definitely take two rest days a week. Maybe I’ll do 20 minutes of yoga, but that’s it. I think they are good for my mental and physical health!
Love the chia seed giveaway too. . .I’ve been dying to try them!


Jen September 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm

I have two rest days a week. Since marathon training doesn’t allow me time to take my dog for long walks on the days I run, I usually take my dog on a long walk on rest days. It makes me feel less guilty and my dog SO happy!


Trisha September 8, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I still like to do a little something on my rest days…often times just because something like a long, wandering walk feels so relaxing compared to the training days!! Or sometimes I’ll just dance around the house on my rest days!


Magda September 8, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I usually take a rest day after long runs and hard weight lifting sessions. I think rest and recovery are very important to rid the body of lactic acid. I just listen to my body, I may do a light Yoga or Pilates class or just do nothing at all. Most importantly, I’ve learned to be in tune with my body and do what feels best.
I love Chia seeds, and would love to win the 3lb. pack!


Laura September 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I get one rest day a week – Friday’s and I look forward to it all week! I used to think I had to do something everyday but I just got tired!


amelia September 8, 2009 at 5:53 pm

I’m currently training for a marathon and have two rest days a week. Even though I miss running on those days, I know its an investment for me to continue to feel good on the days I do run. I usually end up doing something active, like walking around or playing tennis, but I don’t feel guilty lounging on the coach either :)


amelia September 8, 2009 at 5:56 pm



heather dawn September 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I like to rest on my rest days. I am learning to listen to my body more, so if I feel like I need to go for a light workout, I will. I will do pilates or yoga. I feel like focusing on stretching and proper nutrition on your rest days is ideal! Especially if you might feel a little guilty for taking a day off.


Carolyn September 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm

I rest totally…. except for making smoothies with chia seed in them… gee i wonder where i could get some? ;-) Thanks for having this contest!


Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now September 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I don’t really LIKE to be active on recovery days, but I do feel like I recover better when I have a light walk or something just to loosen up a bit. It helps me keep from getting sore.


Erin September 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I always feel a little bit weird to do nothing all day – so I try to ride my bike to the store, or go for a walk around the block. I was a sloth this weekend, and I totally suffered today on the treadmill – it was SO HARD!


Nehal September 8, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I usually try to fit in some yoga on my rest days. I love the free 20 min. sessions on!


Sarah September 8, 2009 at 6:20 pm

I have been really wondering about chia seeds I only read a few blogs, yours and KERF have both been eating chia seeds! That means I need to try them!!


Nabeela September 8, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I would LOVE to have some chia seeds, please! I’m a recent convert and would love a big stash to last me for a while :)


Mallory September 8, 2009 at 6:28 pm

woo hoo!!!!!!! chia seeds!!!!!!

i’ve wanted to try these for so long now – great giveaway :)

for rest days i usually try and go for a little walk or do some light yoga in the morning or before i go to bed at night.


Kieri September 8, 2009 at 6:28 pm

What great timing! I was just having this conversation with a friend yesterday! I think that Rest days are just as important as your workout days. Runner’s world has it right! I think that everyone deserves LAZY rest days, even once a week, but if you take 2 or 3 a wekk then you should probably be moving in some sense at least one of the days. Simple, non-pounding movement, just to get the muscles working is key.
I do “on demand” yoga on tv (amazing!!) and/or walking everywhere!

Or there is always spending time working on my favorite recipe w/ CHIA SEEDS!!!!!


Kate September 8, 2009 at 6:36 pm

I tend to really focus on stretching on my rest days. I’m new to running and my leg muscles still aren’t quite adjusted. I’ve also started making green monsters recently, so hoping for chia seeds to add.


Yah September 8, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Before, a rest day was whatever day I didn’t feel like working out or felt unmotivated and I would just lay on the couch and watch tv and that made me feel totally guilty. Now I try to make my rest day more purposeful by doing something that makes me feel good! Like a spa night, bubble bath with candles, doing my nails, etc. It makes me feel pampered for all the hard work I put in on my workouts!
I’ve been DYING to check out Chia seeds! I see it on all of my fav blogs and haven’t been able to find them locally…my fingers are crossed hehe


Danielle September 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm

I always try and do something light on my rest days, like go for a nice long walk.


Mrs. Money September 8, 2009 at 6:45 pm

WOW that is a lot of chia seeds! I got a little container at our health food store for like $12! :(


Michelle September 8, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I think that a nice leisurely walk is great on rest days! It’s low impact and isn’t too hard on my body.

I’ve never tried chia seeds but will be as soon as I get a credit card to order some online :)


Ellen @ Peace in Motion September 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Only recently have I become okay with rest days. In the past, I saw them as an excuse, while now I’ve realized that my bod truly does need them.


Lynna September 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I don’t like to sit around and do nothing on rest days (or on any days for that matter), but I also don’t want to head over to the gym because then it doesn’t really feel like a rest day. It’s tough to find a balance but usually I do some light activity that doesn’t feel like exercise (such as getting some errands done). I also have two jobs where I’m on my feet most of the day so I guess I could consider that my “active recovery.”


Laura E September 8, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Thanks for the opportunity! A rest day for me is actually not doing any form of exercise except maybe some stretching-especially if I’m sore. I feel kind of guilty(not really the right word..) because sometimes I go on a 30 minute bike ride at low intensity and count that as a workout. But each person is different so I’m not going to worry too much.


Patty September 8, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I usually go to the gym and do the cycling class.
This seems to release the lactic acid built
up from a long run. It also seems to get the blood
flowing back into my legs. I always seem to walk
easier out of the gym then into the gym…go figure!


Emily September 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I’m not good at rest. I try not to overdo it on rest days, but I generally at least take a walk (since walk or bike is my primary form of transport, I walk quite a bit) or do some hatha yoga for a gentle stretch.

Thanks for the great giveaway! Chia seeds are a staple for me :)


Milca September 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm

I’ve never tried the chia seeds, I really hope I win.


Autumn Tao September 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I am a solid rester. Days off are days off! If I walk my dog or play frisbee at the park, it’s for pleasure purposes, not activity points.


Lara September 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I take 1-2 rest days per week and they are just that, rest. I do try to get in some stretching and foam rolling on those days too but I don’t count that as activity.


Randi September 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm

I ALWAYS do 2 rest days a week. And by rest, I mean total rest. Rest is imperative for marathon training as all those tiny tears in your muscles need to heal. It only makes you a stronger a runner. My runner friends who don’t take rest days are always getting injured.

Yay for Chia Seeds!!!


Tasha September 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Definitely swimming or elliptical are best rest exercises. But sitting on the couch isn’t too bad either (kidding).


JJ September 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I take a shower and then eat something. AND never forget to drink plenty of water. After that I usually bum around for the rest of the day!


supersu September 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm

all my days are rest days!!!! ha ha ha…

am reading your blog and trying to adapt some of your healthy ways…chia seeds would be a great addition to my improved diet thanks to you!

first the food, next the exercise!!!!!


Heather September 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm

I love walking on my rest days. I still get to relax my mind and take away all the stresses of the day without over doing it.


Jolene September 8, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I like to watch TV with my husband on rest days :-)


Lauren September 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm

ahh I’ve always wanted to try chia seeds :D


Nae September 8, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Yay chia! I’ve been tryin to find those everywhere, but no luck so far :(
As for rest days.. those are sort of hard for me. I relieve so much stress through exercise, that I get anxious when I don’t!

Only I recently injured my ribs (geeh), which means these past four days have been rest. Crazy life!


Carrie September 8, 2009 at 8:05 pm

My rest days usually involve a nap. I’ll also go for a walk for 20-30 minutes to get some fresh air.


Sally September 8, 2009 at 8:13 pm

On rest days I go for leisurely walks or I just hang out and blow off exercise. I usually only take one or two rest days a week.


Michelle September 8, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I’d love to try these out in a pudding or smoothie! Thanks for hosting the giveaway.


Danielle J September 8, 2009 at 8:28 pm

I like to rest by doing things I love- relaxing walks, cooking with friends etc. That extra time not spent running around is perfect for that.


Holly September 8, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I like to take my dogs for a walk on rest days. Otherwise they will go crazy!


Kristin September 8, 2009 at 8:31 pm

I have one “official” rest day a week, where I do blissful nothing. It’s usually welcomed with open arms. Then, I have a second “easy” day where I am supposed to do easy strength (oxymoron)… more often than not lately, it’s been replaced by yoga. Shhhhhhhhh… Don’t tell. :)


jen September 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm

i love to do yoga or elliptical on my rest day!


molly September 8, 2009 at 8:44 pm

what a great give-away! i like long walks on my rest days…


Kelly September 8, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Very interesting ideas, I like how you are taking it with a grain of salt, do what works for you.


Katrina M September 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm

oooh i would love to try out some chia seeds! :) i usually don’t do much on rest days, definitely not exercise, but those days typically end up being days that we do things with our families, clean the house, etc. so i’m hardly ever just laying on the couch watching movies all day (i wish!! haha). i agree, this article could definitely give some people the wrong kind of encouragement to keep on with obsessive exercising.


Deb September 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Couch all the way. However, I probably should do something light as my aches and pains seem WORSE after a day off- grrrr!


gillian September 8, 2009 at 9:22 pm

mhmmmm, chia


Jennifer September 8, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Awesome post. I catch up on some reading and try to spend quiet, quality time with the kids on my rest days. :)
Those chia seeds look very interesting. I have read lots about them. Would love to give them a try! :)


Heather September 8, 2009 at 9:30 pm

I NEED a good rest day – normally it’s Monday (too hectic!) and/or Saturday. Even if I’m not working out as hard on those days, I still get in some light activity – walking or yoga. But mostly I just listen to my body – if it’s telling me to take it easy, then I do it. If it’s telling me to get in a sweatfest, again, I do it. Your body knows best!



Christine September 8, 2009 at 9:30 pm

I feel guilty when I do absolutely no exercise, so I usually settle for a long but leisurely walk with my dog. Every once in a while I take a true “couch day” and I do notice a difference afterwards.


Dana ( September 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm

My work days are my rest days. I work 12 hours. I usually get in a 1.5 mile walk while at work on my breaks. I typically use these days as a rest because I don’t feel like doing anything else after 12 hours! I love chia seeds!


Laura September 8, 2009 at 9:55 pm

I like to take “active” rest days, so I try to sneak in a few walks, some stretching, maybe some yoga and a few ab exercises.


nicole September 8, 2009 at 9:59 pm

For rest days I try to do something active with the kids because i know if i stop moving i get too stiff!


Steph September 8, 2009 at 10:19 pm

I don’t have much to comment on right now as I am not yet a runner, but hopefully I will have some more input after I begin my training!! I would love to try some chia seeds.


Katie September 8, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I clean! Gets me to get things done around the house and fit some activity in so I am not a total couch potato…


Liz23 September 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm

I would love to try some ch, ch, ch, chia!


Crystal September 8, 2009 at 10:56 pm

On my rest days I like to go for nice long walks either around the neighborhood or at the bike path with my husband and two cocker spaniels. On regular workout days I only have time to walk the dogs for about 20 minutes so my rest days are really fun for the whole family.


Allie (Live Laugh Eat) September 8, 2009 at 10:56 pm

I usually take my rest days on the days (1-2 days per week) that I am swamped with classes and work. On those days, I am walking about 1 hour to and from my apartment anyways so it is still rather active. And some days, I feel like doing absolutely nothing and I honor my body’s wants and needs because I know my workout will just be crappy if I don’t.


Kristina September 8, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Ch-Ch-Ch Chia!!

…I am already using chia seeds in my GMs, in baking, make into gel (LOVE THIS!!), etc… but I’d love to win some!!

…Rest days. I sometimes have days like you talked about, where I do… not… move! :) Usually though I still need to get SOME kind of activity, even if it’s a mile of walking the doggie! :)

:) Thank you again, Angela, for my daily reading and inspiration! :)



Kelly September 8, 2009 at 11:16 pm

I struggle so much with rest days, but thanks for the reminder that it is important! I know that is what has led to some of my injuries in the past.

P.S..Love your blog, can’t wait until you are able to ship glo-bars to the U.S.!

P.P.S.. thanks for posting that google docs calendar/spreadsheet. Such a brillant way for me to track my running!


Pauline September 8, 2009 at 11:32 pm

I am an all-rester!!! When I used to work out 5 days a week straight, I grew really irritated, tired and had sore joints. I started to really resent exercising! Now that I space out my rest days better, I feel energized, not sore and totally motivated for my workout! On my rest days, I sleep in and read and just RELAX!


MarathonVal September 8, 2009 at 11:35 pm

I typically try to lay low on rest days, but sometimes that includes a yoga class – to me the stretching aspect of this is beneficial, but I’m not breaking a sweat or at risk of injury so it’s the best of both worlds!


Katie September 9, 2009 at 12:22 am

I typically pick one rest day a week based on the busiest day of my week. On this day, I do light stretches and yoga poses. I also take my puppy for a ~30-60 minute walk because he’s craaaazy otherwise :)

I’d love to try chia seeds in my morning green monster!


Julia September 9, 2009 at 7:45 am

I walk my dogs on my rest days. I walk them every day anyway, but on “rest” days I try to get in an extra long one :)

I just started experimenting with chia seeds – so much fun!


April September 9, 2009 at 9:44 am

I also take my dog on a long walk on rest days. I can’t rest…i’ll admit it.

I LOVE chia seeds! Especially making it into pudding mmm…


Tiffany September 9, 2009 at 11:48 am

I’m not a runner as of now…I’m 6 months prego, but I plan running after the baby to get back into shape.
I would love to try some chia seeds!!!


Marcia September 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm

You know, YOU are the one who inspired me to actually “rest” on rest days, and not feel like I need to do anything. (Though I don’t mind light walking…sometimes I walk with my 3.5 year old to watch my hubby play tennis…about 20 min walk.)

I’m actually considering changing one of my “rest” days to be a light “loosen up” run. I am training for a 1/2 marathon, and I think that I tend to be really tight on Sundays, so maybe a 2-mile-easy-pace (10 min mile) run might help out.

But Thursdays? Yah, that’s my day off. I don’t do NUTHIN’.


Marcia September 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm

And thanks for the tip on Chia seeds direct. We just bought our first ones at the health food store. $13.99 a pound!!


Sproutz September 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm


So often those with disordered perspectives on exercise forget about the importance of giving their bodies a break. Thank you for reminding us of the physical and psychological benefits of taking a short hiatus from exercise and that giving your body rest when that’s what it wants and needs is not out of laziness or a lack of motivation. The suggestions taken from Runner’s World are valid too, but like you said, we earned the rest and we can spend it however we please! It will help avoid preventable injuries, overtraining, and fatigue – let’s make guilt a thing of the past!


Mary Carole October 8, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Just finished reading “Born to Run” and am anxious to see what chia can do for me!


Toma Grubb October 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

Obviously I missed the deadline for the free chia seed but I like the fact that you are raising awareness. I came to chia and healthy eating in general late in life. When I was 58 I was dying from badly out of control type 2 diabetes. I mean that literally, necrosis had already set in when I got to the ER at the Seattle VA hospital.

By learning to eat right I reversed it. By May 2005 I had learned to eat right, got my glucose and A1C numbers in line and got off all the meds. Chia seed is one of the secrets for good diabetic control. Chia is rich in mucilage fiber which helps control blood glucose. (30 grams of fiber per day.) Of course there is a lot more to controlling type 2 diabetes than chia but it is one of the super foods.

I was at chia direct and saw the link to your blog.


Kathryn July 26, 2010 at 11:38 pm

So thrilled to see my recent interest in Raw foods take me to an article on how to use these Chia seeds I recently bought and to also find an article linked to another passion of mine…running. I try to take at least one rest day a week but it’s hard when I’m trying to fit all my cross training in as well. I only run 3-4 days a week but it seems there are more and more things I want to do (cycle, swim, yoga, weight training) and it’s hard to fit it all in in just 6 days and so most days have at least one activity and many are doubled up. Fortunately, now and then, life intervenes and I am forced to take a day off from activity to attend to other life issues and I am busy enough that I don’t fret about not exercising.


Annie August 30, 2010 at 5:36 am

I truly rest on my rest days. I do my hardest workouts the day before a rest day so that I really feel the need to give my body a break. Annie


Pavielle September 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I am trying to get back in shape! A “rest day” is more of a collapse because I’m so tired and sometimes sore. I like the idea of recovering by low intensity activities but it isn’t going to happen this month at least. For now rest is COMPLETE rest!!


Misty H July 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

I LOVE exercising so when it comes to rest days exercise is all I can think about, but I get over it with light activity such as taking my sisters childen to the park (oh yeah, I’m the big kid lol think I play more than the children) a light walk or playing volleyball if my siblings and friends are up for a game (volleyball net and ball set only $20!). After rest day I feel great and my runs and other workouts feel easier to complete. Today I am working, so this rest day will be spent doing absolutely nothing as soon as I get off (on break right now). Thanks for the info, so glad I found your website. Going to check out some recipes now!


Meghan September 23, 2018 at 2:13 pm

This may not be healthy, but I sleep all day on rest days. I weight train and do HIIT 6 days a week plus yoga so I love my rest day. Saturday I take a hike and Sunday I sleep all day, unless I’m scheduled to work and then when bedtime comes around I take z quill— followed by a caffeinated beverage Monday am to power me up for the day after rest day.


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