STRONGER Challenge Motivation Day 7: Hooray for Rest Days!

Give your body a little R and R — you earned it!

Thank goodness for rest days! If you've worked hard the rest of the week doing your STRONGER workouts, your rest day is well deserved. But there's an art to doing rest days right. Here's Nicky Holender, creator of and trainer for LIVESTRONG.COM's STRONGER workout series, with a little message for your day off.

Like Nicky says, it's super important to give your body a chance to rest and recover after hitting your workouts hard during the rest of the week. Even though it seems like all the work and results come from the intensity of your workouts, your body actually uses your rest time to get stronger.

So what's your rest day going to look like? Will you go for a hike with friends? Take your dog for an extra-long walk? Stroll along the beach with your kids? Go for a bike ride with your significant other? Or maybe do some gentle yoga, stretching or foam rolling.

Just take it easy! But keep in mind that health eating doesn't take time off. Sure, you can enjoy your indulgences every once in a while, but don't go overboard.

And make sure you join our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook Group to get daily tips, encouragement and motivation!

Don't let rest days derail your progress.

How to Sign Up for the STRONGER Challenge

1. Download the MyPlate app for iOS or and create your account. If you're on Android or don't have a smartphone, you can also use the desktop version. Make sure you set July 9 as your start date so you can be on the same page as the rest of the LIVESTRONG.COM community!

2. On your start date (we're launching our next challenge July 9th), you'll be able to log into your account and click on “Meal Plan” in the bottom navigation bar of the app. There, you'll have access to each day's meals as well as each week's shopping list.

Tracking is easy with MyPlate.

3. For each meal and snack, track your calories by clicking the check mark next to each food or recipe. If you need to deviate from the meal plan, you can also enter foods manually from the “Track” tab on the bottom navigation. Just search for your food and click the “I Ate This” button. Also be sure to track your water intake from the “Track” tab.

4. Print out the STRONGER Challenge workout calendar and and follow along with each day's free workout video.

Here's your workout roadmap.

5. Track the STRONGER workouts in MyPlate. On the app's main page, click Exercise then search STRONGER. All of the workouts will be listed below. Select the one you performed that day.

6. Join our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook Group to get daily tips, encouragement and motivation! You can also join the conversation in our community boards in the app ("Community" on the bottom navigation) and on desktop.

7. Do the workouts with us, cross them off the calendar and post about it in the Facebook group. We're cheering for you!

Readers — Are you joining us for the 8-week STRONGER Challenge? What do you think of the STRONGER workouts? Have you taken a look at the meal plan yet? Are you having any trouble accessing and using either of them? Have you ever done a fitness challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know!