Day 15: The Importance of a Day of Rest

Having rest in our physical training provides recovery time, which sharpens focus and puts fire in your workout. Whether you’re training to run marathons, or beat your personal best, proper rest motivates you to move forward and stay on top of your game. Your body, spirit and mind require rest and recovery. It’s the secret to maintain motivation and achieve top performance.

In an article with personal trainer, Linnea Webb with Beyond Fitness, she explains why rest is so important. “During a workout the stress applied to the muscles results in the breakdown of muscle fibers, which places the body in a weakened and vulnerable state. The body’s repair mechanism kicks in – initiating ‘supercompensation’, a process that makes the damaged muscle fibers thicker and stronger than they were before the workout. Tissue repair only happens when we allow the challenged muscles to rest and recover.”

Although physical rest is important, spiritual rest shouldn’t be ignored. Life often adds emotional stress eroding our peace.

Jesus took time away from His work to rest and sleep. He spent much of His time in prayerful communication with His Father – God. Taking time to rest and seek God’s will for everything will deepen your relationship with Him. When you increase your dependence on Him through spiritual rest, God strengthens you and your spiritual heart recovers.

So this Sunday, find your rest in Jesus and prepare yourself for the rest of the week by giving your body physical rest too.

“Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:7


Active Rest – Trainers and coaches recommend taking two or three days a week off from your target sport and advise light exercise that uses other muscles. Cyclists might swim, run, work out with weights, or enjoy a light session on the rowing machine at the gym. This ‘Active Rest’ increases circulation, oxygenates your blood and flushes out toxins that build up during training.

You can also give your spirit a boost by redirecting your focus toward God with active rest for your mind. Experience the joy of lifting your voice to the Lord and reap physiological benefits as well. Singing oxygenates your blood and releases endorphins into the bloodstream. Patricia Preston-Roberts, a board-certified music therapist in New York City, says that studies link singing with a lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure and reduced stress.

Complete Rest – In creating work-out schedules take one day a week of complete rest from even light workouts to allow your body to heal. On your rest day stretch and take a comfortable walk. In the book of Genesis, God set apart the seventh day after creation as a day of complete rest. Scholars say that this set the basis for human rest. Our day of physical rest allows us the opportunity to enjoy complete spiritual rest. Here are a few suggestions to help strengthen you and bring you into a deeper relationship with God.

– Close your eyes and focus on God thanking Him for the incredible body he’s blessed you with. Ask Him to guide you in caring for it.
– Curl up on the couch with your Bible and jot down favorite scriptures to memorize. Psalms is a treasure chest of songs revealing God’s nature and love. Carry scriptures written on three-by-five cards and memorize them for inspiration or comfort.

Evening Rest– Linnea emphasizes, “The majority of the body’s healing work takes place while you sleep. The general amount of sleep recommended after a strenuous work out is eight to ten hours”. She explains that we often cut our sleep time to fit more activities into a packed schedule. However, to build stamina and strength our bodies need plenty of sleep. Our immune systems and organs of detoxification can focus attention on cleansing and restoration. This is when your body:

1. Takes inventory of damage done
2. Starts a cleansing process, taking care of waste that accumulates daily
3. Repairs cellular damage

Always listen to your body. If your performance is suffering in any way – from clarity of mind to the strength and ability to perform the exercise well – you may need more sleep. Adequate sleep will help you serve God more effectively and not grow weary in the process.