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The POWER of a REST DAY

We often go into a new year determined to become fitter and healthier. But what should you do when dedication spirals into obsession? Author and triathlete Lucy Fry shares her surprising tip for boosting energy

Here I am, sitting on the sofa, aching muscles covered in Deep Heat, trying to tie up my running shoes. From the outside, I look fit, healthy and entirely ready to exercise. But internally, there’s a major conflict going on: I know I’m overtired, muscles sore from yesterday’s gym session and eyes burning from hours spent staring at a screen. A voice in my head says – you’re exhausted – maybe rest? But another one tells me I need an endorphin release and should tick the fitness box or I won’t have a good evening.

You’ve got to do it, says that voice. If I can just get myself out of the door, I can (literally) run away from my buzzing mind, pushing myself to a point where all I can focus on is my breath, my feet and keeping going. After that, the feel-good chemicals will rush in, anaesthetising my inherent restlessness, quieting the anxious brain-chatter and lessening the guilt.

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Psychologies January 2016 - Too Much To Do?