If you’re sick, lean toward rest. The most I would recommend doing is slow paced walking or gentle stretching. If you have a fever or are dizzy, just rest. Look at it as an investment in your future workouts.
If you had a poor night of sleep & don’t feel up to your usual workout, again a leisure walk or gentle mobility might be best. If you have to choose between sleep & a workout & are really burnt out / run down over the course of a few days, choose sleep. It will help keep mood, hunger, & mindset in a positive place. This in turn, will help with good nutritional decisions & making time for priorities like your quiet time & family—while also being pleasant to be around.
If you struggle with fatigue on an ongoing basis (this can include autoimmune, chronic illness, etc.), I’d consider you to view movement as a potential source of untapped energy. I personally struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome & hypothyroidism & have learned I cannot function at my highest without exercise. I also have to be careful not to overdo it either, because whether good stress or bad stress, the body still is under stress & cumulative amounts can take a toll. If you fall in this camp, you’ll have to pay even more close attention to your biofeedback (things like hunger, mood, cravings) in order to avoid burnout.
A final note for those that are type A & struggle with ever taking rest. You’re nervous system can’t sustain going nonstop. You aren’t the exception to the rule. Build in at least 1 day of rest/week from training. That doesn’t mean you can’t do active recovery (walking/foam rolling/stretching), but remember, gains come in R & R, not at the gym. Self care allows you to function at your highest self, so value rest as much as you do work. The Lord gave an example in taking a Sabbath; not because He needed it, but because we do.
1/ Do you struggle with taking rest days?