Rest Days - Why So Important?Jun 19, 2023
Rest Days - Why So Important?
Being able to use your body is a gift! It’s easy for some people to be addicted (in a good way) to going to the gym or working out. But at the same time, it can be challenging to make sure you’re getting enough rest and recovery time in between those workouts. It can mess with your head a little bit. Maybe you feel guilty on your rest days or during your de-load weeks. But rest is necessary to be productive!
Here are five reasons why you need to prioritize your rest days.
1 - Rest Days Will Result in Better Workouts
Rest days lead to better workout days. If you’re not resting enough, it can be hard to maintain a certain pace, let alone push yourself. Even if you were to force yourself, overtraining symptoms would increase, and your performance would suffer.
Rest will give you the mental and physical energy you need and prepare you for your next workout!
2 - Rest Days Contribute to a Healthy Immune System
Failing to get enough rest could lead to weakening your immune system. Exercise is a form of stress for your body. Increased levels of stress for long periods can lead to a prolonged rise in cortisol levels. High-stress levels lead to a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to viruses.
3 - Rest Days Lower Your Risk of Injury
If you’re training daily, you’re at very high risk for overuse injuries. Even if you cross-train, your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments need time to recover.
Overuse can lead to stress fractures that could potentially take weeks to recover. Therefore, a rest day is much better than a forced 3-week rest due to a stress fracture.
4 - Rest Days Prevent Mental Staleness
Doing the same workouts or exercise every day can lead to mental staleness. Varying your activities helps you from becoming mentally and physically exhausted.
If you find yourself doing the same movements often, shake things up! Try a new workout routine, work out in a new environment, or set new goals to keep things fresh!
5 - Rest Days Won't Make You Lose Your Gains
Incorporating rest days in your routine won’t make you lose your gains. It takes at least a couple of weeks for a loss of strength to be noticeable. However, even if it did get to that point, your body has the unique ability to snap back. Muscle memory will help your muscles remember what they did in the past, and your body will eventually get back to how it was.
Signs You Need to Prioritize Rest Days
So how do you know if you need to slow down or take a break? Some signs you need a rest day include soreness, pain, and fatigue. Some signs of overtraining are unstable emotions, decreased performance, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, and increased cortisol levels. If you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, you may need more than one rest day.
Need to Take it Easy - Here's What to Do
If you realize that you need to take it down a notch, here are some things you could do instead!
- Low-impact exercise
- Pilates or Yoga
- Focus on diet and protein consumption
- Increase protein intake
Taking a break might mean that you spend time out of the gym and simply incorporate activity into your life. Taking a rest day doesn’t mean not moving. Do something you enjoy while giving your body a break. You’ll come back with renewed energy and feel even stronger than before.
Follow a Workout Program that Incorporates Rest Days
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