Why Athletes Need Rest Days


He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest a while.” -- Mark 6:31a


Athletes are often pushed to the brink with grueling practices, travel schedules, schoolwork, offseason training and constant pressure to reach peak performance. It’s necessary to allow our physical bodies time to rest and replenish.

Jesus extends an invitation to get away with Him, to step back and recognize what’s most important.

“… Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” -- Mark 6:31a

Jesus begins with the instruction to change locations, to get away to a place without distractions. A quiet, remote place leaves us exposed to God, where we can hear His voice and give Him a greater ability to nurture our hearts and minds. Jesus also gives us the command to rest in that space. Rest brings relaxing refreshment and the recovery of our strength.

After time away of true rest, we can come back and be restored to a regular level of activity. Balanced health grants the opportunity to not only perform well in all spaces, but also greater capacity for relationships with our family, work and sport. As we compete and serve our teams, there is an opportunity to model health in all areas of life. There is power in slowing down and trusting God to handle things while you set aside time to rest.

Consider your daily schedule and prioritize time to seek God first in the form of Bible reading and prayer.

Direct your thoughts toward God and His goodness. Allow Him to cleanse your mind and receive mental rest. Take a walk. Do whatever will calm your spirit and allow God to meet you in the middle of a busy day.

God created you not just to recuperate from fatigue, but to enjoy His creation and spend quality time with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Honor the Lord, seek intentional time away just between you and Him, and revive your body, mind and spirit by giving it the deep and lasting rest it needs.

  • How have you been treating your mind, body and soul? Are they exhausted and in need of rest?
  • In what ways might God be asking you to rest and refuel in this season of your life?
  • Take time to recuperate today. Close your eyes for a few minutes, put on some calming music, take a walk — whatever is going to help you calm your spirit and be still with the Lord.

“Father, thank You that You have created the right rhythms of life. I have been overwhelmed trying to keep up with the frantic pace of life. Help me to slow down, be still and give my body, mind and soul true rest. I want to take up Your way of life and find Your peace along the way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”