By Refinery29
July 17, 2014

Here’s a fitness rule you shouldn’t follow: “Never skip a workout.”

Forcing yourself to stick with an extreme program that tells you to “never, ever deviate” (we’re looking at you, restrictive diets and aggressive fitness plans) isn’t sustainable. And, at R29 Wellness, we believe that living healthfully and staying active is a lifestyle — not just a month-long commitment.

With any regular training program, you should be taking one to two days off per week to allow your body to recover, explains performance coach and exercise physiologist Pete McCall. This helps prevent burnout and ward off injuries by giving your muscles time to heal. As McCall points out, a rest day doesn’t have to mean spending hours on your couch; you can recover actively by taking a low-intensity walk or scheduling a restorative yoga class.

But, there are times when doing nothing at all is your best bet for mental and physical health. (Unfortunately, having just bought a bottle of wine doesn’t quite make the cut.) Ahead, five common scenarios where sleeping in (and/or eating the damn cookie) will leave you more refreshed and energized than pushing through your regularly scheduled sweat session would.

This post originally appeared on Refinery29.com.

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