Let’s be real, getting ourselves motivated to work out can be a struggle. And then, once we have, taking a few days in between our workout routine to rest can make us feel guilty. However, what most of us don’t realize is that rest is important to incorporate into our training program. It’s not a waste of time and it is important for several reasons.
Repair, rebuild and recover
One of the main roles of rest days is to help the body recover from the training exercises it goes through. It aids the muscles to repair and rebuild themselves, aiming at letting the body adapt to the strenuous workout it went through. When we exercise, energy gets depleted and therefore needs to be replenished. This is where rest comes in. On the days you rest, your muscle tissues repair themselves, therefore minimizing injury. There are 2 types of recovery processes: short-term and long-term. Short-term recovery occurs right after your workout, whereas long-term takes place over a span of days when you’re taking part of a rigorous training program. Whichever type you choose to do, allow your body to take time to recover.
There is such a thing as too much
Is it possible to work out too much? Can it really be detrimental? The answer to both those questions is yes. Pushing yourself over and above can do more bad than good. When you overexert yourself and train excessively, your performance can reach a plateau, and eventually even decline. Without listening to your body and giving it the breaks it asks for, it will grow weaker and won’t recover as well. This can all lead to a burn out, and the opposite of what you are looking for in your training program. Optimize on shorter quality workouts and take time for breaks. Your body will thank you for it!
The recovery procedure is part of your rest day. It doesn’t however have to mean lying down counting ceiling tiles. You can still have an active recovery process on your “off days “. What this entails is remaining active but not performing high-intensity workouts. This can therefore mean going for a bike ride or a hike. All you want to do is keep the blood flowing and the muscles active without necessarily going through a strenuous workout.
No cheat days here
Let’s not get things confused, rest days don’t mean cheat days. By all means, don’t let all your hard work go to waste. Even though your body needs fewer calories on rest days, eat right, hydrate, and include enough protein, and stay active with activities like yoga and low-impact workouts. Retreat but don’t cheat!
Whether you’ve been working out for years or just a few months, our team of certified personal trainers can help develop a program for you based on your goals and needs – including rest days. Remember, letting your body rest is definitely best!