‘Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.’
-Mark 2:27, NIV
God commands us to keep the Sabbath as a sign of the covenant between Him and us. This day reminds us who God is, and that He makes us Holy. In Exodus 31:17, God reminds us, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed.’” If God- the creator of the universe- needs a day of rest, then we certainly do too!
Jesus points out in Mark 2:27 that this day of rest is actually for OUR benefit. It is important for us to take time to rest, recover, and recuperate, in order to become recharged and re-energized.
So how does this incorporate into our workouts? Most bodybuilders rest anywhere from 1-3 minutes between sets, allowing their muscles to recover, so that they can grow stronger. On a larger scale, you should make sure you are getting adequate rest days in your week. This may mean anywhere from 1-3 days, depending on your body and fitness level. These days are important so that your muscles have time to repair the damage and micro-tears you are causing throughout the week. Are you working out hard seven days a week and not seeing results? Lack of rest (or over-training) could be part of the problem.
Another aspect of rest that is essential is sleep. Your body heals when it sleeps. Whether you are exercising or not, sleep is the time when your body goes to work to regulate all of the important chemicals and hormones, such as cortisol. Growth Hormone is also produced when you sleep, which is known to enhance fat loss. Sleep loss can impair your body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, which can lead to problems such as high blood sugar, overproduction of insulin, and insulin resistance, a precursor for diabetes.
The national sleep foundation recommends 7-9 hours of good sleep each night for the average adult. The more active you are, the more sleep and rest you will need.
Takeaway: Start by trying to incorporate more rest into your workout week, make sure you are taking a Sabbath day of rest to connect spiritually with the Lord, and try to get to bed earlier this week. If this is a struggle for you, ask God to reveal what changes you need to make, and how much rest is adequate for His Temple…
Sources: National Sleep Foundation, WebMD, Men’s Fitness, Biblegateway.com
Here’s to your health!