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Want to Take a Workout Break? Know Important Tips on How to Do it Right

Admin 11-10-2022

Working out at the gym daily is a common habit in active people. But there are times when work piles up, family problems or other issues arise that may cause you to miss a couple of workouts. 

Are workout breaks a bad thing? Do they affect your fitness progress?


Not when it’s done right. To make sure you don’t lose any progress you’ve worked so hard to achieve, we’ll be talking about workout breaks, what they are, how they’re important, its benefits, and tips if you’re looking to take one.

What is a workout break?

Workout break is a certain amount of time that a person chooses not to exercise. These breaks can be taken because of voluntary and involuntary reasons. 

Voluntary breaks are a personal choice, they could be because of time constraints, bodily stress, family or work issues, etc.

Involuntary  breaks can be because of a medical emergency, health issues or to recover from an injury.

hen I say workout break, it is not the same as a rest day. Unlike a rest day which is necessary for your body, taking a break from exercising is optional. 

The person here either switches to a less intense activity or completely stops for a week or more. Now, you may think that taking a break from workouts might give way to detraining effects on your fitness levels but that’s not true. 

According to a research article, a one to two weeks long break does not affect or reduce a person’s aerobic capacity or muscle strength. 

But if you take a break for two months or more, you will lose all your workout progress. 

What are the Benefits of Taking a Break from Work outs?

You might not know this but taking a break from exercising can actually be good for you in many ways.

a. Better Fitness-Life Balance 

Many times people get caught up in work, daily life responsibilities and relationships so much they don’t have the energy or time to do one more thing. 

Pushing yourself to workout daily isn’t productive or healthy. So a workout break might just be what you need to focus your energy and time on other aspects of your life. 

b. No Overreaching and Overtraining Risk 

Overreaching refers to excessive physical training that affects your workout performance and stops you from getting the most out of your fitness routine. 

Overtraining is the result of overreaching that causes serious physical issues for a person ranging from depression to inflammation. 

c. Prevents Exercising Burnout 

When a person has been exercising daily for some time there’s a good chance they might experience burnout. 

When you take a break from the gym it helps in preventing burnout. So when you do go back to exercising, you’re fresh and ready to get back to the old routine. 

d. Increased Motivation 

Be it exercising or other activity, doing it daily becomes rough after a while. Why? Because of lack of motivation. 

But by taking a break you get out of a repetitive cycle meaning when you return to working out, you are motivated to exercise.

e. Rests & Recuperates the Body and Mind

When you listen to your body’s cues and take a break, you give it the chance to rest and recuperate. You might not know but exercising regularly puts your body under physical stress. 

By taking a break, your body gets a few days off the physical stress which is good for overall mental and physical well-being. 

But how do you know if your body needs a break? Let’s get into that first. 

f. Physical Signs that you Need a Break

You can take a break whenever you want. But if you’ve been experiencing these physical or mental symptoms lately then your body needs that break as soon as possible. 

  • Loss of motivation 

  • Physical exhaustion 

  • Decline in physical performance 

  • Increased/prolonged soreness

  • Weak workout performance

Tips on How to Take a Break from Exercising

Before you decide to go and take a break from gymming, make sure to plan it through in advance. There are mainly two things you need to consider - duration and alternate activities. 


There is no set number of days or weeks that will help you feel refreshed and ready to go back to working out. That is up to you. But do decide on the duration of the break, so you don’t give up on your fitness journey. 

Taking a week or two off from the gym won’t hurt your progress. But if you’re thinking of taking a long break then prepare for some progress loss in your fitness. 

2. Alternative Physical Activity

During your break, you could do fun physical activities or sports that keep the body moving. Use this break to try out new activities that you’ve wanted to try like swimming, rock climbing, hiking, barre, etc. 

Keeping yourself active makes sure the body is getting some physical work out and that the muscles do not become stiff.

Now that we’ve covered discussing workout breaks, let’s talk about going back to an exercising routine after a break.

3. How to Start Exercising Again After a Workout Break? 

When you return to exercising after a week or a month, your body is going to need a few days to go back to the old fitness routine. Now, how long this will take is dependent on the duration of the break, individual genetic make up, and the intensity of your previous workout.

To make sure that you get back into your old workout routine smoothly, follow these tips.

4. Don’t forget Warm-ups

Warming up before working out helps the body prepare for the physical activity by increasing blood flow and loosening up the muscles. Make sure to include dynamic exercises in your warm-up routine to reduce the risk of injuries.

5. tart with a Low Intensity Workout  

You might want to jump back into your old workout routine after the break immediately but you shouldn’t. Take it slow and do a low intensity version of your old workout then gradually increase the intensity after a week. 

6. Mentally Prepare for the Exercise 

Your body might not be able to perform your exercises with the same energy since it's been on a break. This is why you need to be mentally prepared to face some frustration and anger.  Try to stay patient while working out again. 

7. Be Ready for Muscle Soreness 

When a person takes a break from working out, their muscles will experience soreness when they get back to it again. This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). You can ice it, do some stretching or take a rest day if you need to.

8. eate a Post-Workout Recovery Routine 

Post workout recovery routine is a must if you want your body to be prepared for the next day’s workout. 

Create a recovery routine by incorporating practices like cool down stretches, drinking fluids (water, electrolytes), at least seven hours of sleep or switching to lighter activity (swimming or walking) if you're too sore. 

9. Focus on Post-Workout Nutrition 

Another tip to help your body after a workout is to eat healthy. Post workout nutrition can help your body get the necessary carbs and proteins for muscle protein synthesis. A healthy diet will help your body perform better. 


Is a workout break good? 

Yes, it is. It gives the body a chance to pause and reset. The break helps the body overcome fatigue and push back harder when it returns to working out. 

How long should a workout break be?

Workout breaks should be long enough that the person gets to rest and recuperate. But if the break is longer than two months the body will lose much if not all progress. 

What are the signs of overtraining?

Physical signs of overtraining include prolonged fatigue, lack of motivation, low energy, poor sleep quality and even depression symptoms (in some cases). 


Many people get scared at the thought of taking a break from exercising, which is normal. But remember that a break is not going to ruin the hard work you’ve put into building a fitness routine. 

While taking a break is important, don’t extend it to such a long duration that you find it hard to return to the active lifestyle. Keep the break between one week to a month, so when you come back you’ll be ready to get back with enthusiasm and energy. 

Here’s a list of benefits you can get by taking a break from daily exercising. 

  • Better Fitness-Life Balance

  • No Overreaching and Overtraining Risk 

  • Prevents Exercising Burnout

  • Increased Motivation 

  • Rests and Recuperates the Body and Mind

Taking a break could be what you need to upgrade your fitness level. Especially when your body is giving you cues in the form of physical exhaustion. Just make sure you don’t become totally inactive during the break, try some alternative physical activities. 

When you go back to exercising after a break, keep a few things in mind to make sure you don’t overdo or injure yourself. 

Here’s a recap of the tips for safely returning to daily workouts. 

  • Don’t forget warm-ups

  • Start with a low intensity workout

  • Mentally prepare for the exercise

  • Be ready for muscle soreness

  • Create a post-workout recovery routine

  • Focus on post-workout nutrition

We hope this blog eased the uncertainty and anxiety around workout breaks. If you enjoyed reading the blog leave a like. Share this blog with your gym buddies to help them too. For any queries regarding the blog, make sure to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you. 

For more interesting content on health,  fitness, and technology make sure to check out our other blogs. 

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