Working In vs. Working Out

We have all been told and made to believe that the more you workout the better results you will get, right? What if I told you that you need to rest and recover as much as you workout to optimize your training, nutrition, and therefore your results… 

Exercise of any type or duration requires you to spend energy outside of your body. It is a physical stressor that activates your sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our “fight or flight” response. 

Paul Chek, founder of the C.H.E.K Institute promotes a concept of working in vs. working out. I love this!!! Working In supports organ and glandular function, cultivates energy in the body, makes our bodies more efficient, and resets natural biological rhythms. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the side of our nervous system responsible for “rest and digest.” Working In creates energy in our body versus working out which spends that energy. 

 We spend much of our day in “fight or flight” mode and not enough time in “rest and digest.” Exercising or working out intensely without a break for recovery continues to drive a negative stress response in the body. We then become more energy depleted and are more susceptible to infections & injury. 

The key is to balance working out with working in. Working In includes but is not limited to… 

Leisure Walking

Massage Yoga 


Foam Rolling & Stretching 

Core work 


Working In also includes adequate restful sleep (7-9 hours) and providing your body with nutrient dense foods to build it back up. Working In includes activities or movement that you do not have to recover from. You don’t get stronger from the act of lifting weights; you get stronger by recovering from the act of lifting weights. 

Our bodies are not machines that can perform at the same intensity and efficiency for years at a time. Not taking a break from your exercise program can be counterproductive to achieving your goals. Exercise induced muscle damage needs healing time. If your muscles are not given the proper time to heal you miss the benefits of muscle adaptation, and the increases in strength and fitness. 

In addition, it’s important to note that our muscles can recover much quicker than our cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and joints. They run on a different time frame. Your joints will THANK YOU for a taking a break and doing a bit of working in. 

Based on the situation with our current environment, how can you spend some time working in?  Meditation each day is a great way to calm the body and the mind. Maybe foam rolling or stretching is something that you’ve been wanting to do more of. Whatever it is, the best way to move closer to your health and fitness goals is to spend time each day or multiple times per week working in. We are going to be offering three great online options for everyone to get involved with. We need to maintain our community and EVOLVE STRONG!  More to come soon……………….

Dedicated to Your Health and Fitness Success, 

Scott Newton, MS, CPT Founder, Evolve Personalized Fitness 

Office: (949) 661-1213​

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