Certainly the title caught your attention and raised questions. This is a health and fitness site, right? Absolutely! Some people rest too much and work little, while others work too much and rest too little. A healthy balance is important in all areas of a Christian's life.
Sleep Most Americans do not get enough sleep, usually 4-6 hours. This deprivation leads to obesity, greater risk for auto accidents, higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and heart problems, depression and memory problems http://www.acefitness.org/article/3036/. Getting 7-8 hours a day is considered ideal for most American adults to improve overall health and well-being. I had a 33 year old man in my office because his wife was worried he wouldn't be there for her and their 3 children. Her concerns were well-founded. He was working long hours, getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night, eating on the road, not getting regular lunch breaks, among other things. His blood pressure was high, he was over 50 pounds overweight, his cholesterol was high, and the doctor was beginning to show concerns about blood sugar levels. This man was a heart attack waiting to happen. Learning the difference of when to push and when to rest was a difficult concept for him to grasp. Getting 6-7 hours of sleep could literally save a person's life.
Rest in between sets & intervals The rest phase between weight lifting sets and intervals allows the muscle fibers to recover and be ready to work again. Overworking fatigued muscles can cause injuries. With cardio intervals, especially high intensity intervals and tabatta workouts, rest helps the heart recover to around 70% of the maximum heart rate before spiking up again. By doing so, our bodies shift to a better fat-burn mode instead of burning valuable muscle.
Rest days The day or two of rest a week allows our bodies to rebuild muscle mass, which tends to decline every year after age 40. Keeping lean muscle mass is important to our ability to physically function better and longer , even when we are 60+. Not resting at least 1 day a week can make us ill and cause physical and mental burn out. We stop maintaining/losing weight, feel lack luster, and begin to feel ill, almost like we have a virus. I had a client who insisted on working out daily until she became so ill she had to see the doctor. Her body needed to rebuild and rebalance in order to function effectively. God knew what He was doing when He told us to take a day of rest (Genesis 2:2-4; Exodus 23:12, 34:21).
Rest when balanced with work give us:
1. Renewed energy.
2. A better outlook on life.
3. Greater strength, endurance, speed and flexibility.
4. Better memory and brain function.
5. Ability to manage weight better.
6. Reduced stress levels.
Jesus and Rest Versus Work I always found it interesting that Jesus either took His disciples or went alone to a lonely place (Luke 5:16;Matthew 26:36; Mark 6:29-31, among several) . He also pushed through long ministry sessions when it was needed and taught the disciples to do the same (Matthew 12:15, 14:14; Luke 4:40; Matthew 6:30-44, among several others). There is a time to push and a time to rest. It is very important to know the difference and follow Jesus' example. We should never forget to rest in Him. He said,"Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.