I rarely take any rest days and prefer to workout at least one to two hours daily. Although I only run 3 times a week, I cross-train the other 4 days of the week mostly on the bike trainer, with some core, strength, mountain bike rides, and yoga thrown in. I’m a creature of habit and addicted to endorphin fix every morning before I start my day. I’m to the point that if I don’t workout, I just don’t feel right for the rest of the day.
Working out every day has helped me build discipline, consistency, and motivation. I don’t have waste any mental energy on deciding whether or not I’m going to work out tomorrow morning – it’s a foregone conclusion. My experience has been when you start building rest days into your fitness program, one rest day turns into another rest day and before you know it, you’ll be coming up with all kinds of excuses to defer your workout to tomorrow. If you make it a point to workout every day, then you start thinking about creative ways to try and get that workout in. For example, I’ve had early morning flights, but would wake up at 2 am in the morning to make sure I got my run in for the day.
On the rare occasion that I do miss a workout, I’m adamant that I’ll get back at it the next day. Even on travel, I’ll make sure I have my running shoes with me, and at a minimum, will get at least a few miles — it’s also a great way to explore a new place. Also, there are a number of body weight exercises you can do in your hotel room that will provide a decent strength training workout.
The key to working out every day is to use different muscle groups from one day to the next and mix things up a bit to avoid burnout. You want lots of diversity and be willing to explore new forms of exercise. For a while, I may be big on mountain biking during the spring, then when summer rolls around, maybe I’ll do some swimming in the pool. Also, I change the intensity from day-to-day, where I may do a tough interval run one day, followed by a moderate to low intensity bike ride the next day – I find you can’t go hard every day. I may be big on push-ups for a period of time, then I may start using the kettle bell more. But the point is, I try and do something every day to avoid being infected with the virus called laziness and working out daily seems to be the right antidote.