Rest days aren’t just an excuse to escape the gym – they are actually a vital element of a healthy workout routine. If you’re pushing your body as hard as you can on a regular basis it’s going to need to recover and it’s during rest days that this happens.
As dedicated as you may be to your training, you need to be careful of overworking yourself. If you do, you’ll be much more prone to fatigue and more likely to burn out – and that’s not going to get you the results you want! Whether you’re bulking up your muscle or aiming to shed a few pounds, a day off will do wonders for you and help you achieve the results you want.
Let’s start with the first benefit of rest days – preventing boredom. If you’re pushing yourself on your new health kick every single day with no change you will eventually find the routine monotonous. As well as causing motivation levels to drop, your body will also get used to this same routine and begin to adapt to it. Sure it may be able to handle it much better, but you’ll stop seeing those gains you saw in the first months of your health routine! Take a break from your routine, have a day to recover and return with a fresh approach. It also helps to keep mixing up your routines for best results.
Your body needs time to recover from extreme levels of activity, whether that’s through pounding the treadmill or benching weights. Muscle fatigue is a real thing and if you don’t address it you risk injuring yourself. Tired muscles also can’t perform as well so it’s best to give them a day off to recover.
When we say you need a rest day, we don’t necessarily mean you just have to sit around all day – you can engage in active recovery. This allows you to still keep moving without putting your body under too much strain so it can still recover – a great option for those just can’t keep away from the gym! Whatever activity you choose, make sure it is gentle and doesn’t cause you to push yourself too hard. Activities like pilates and yoga are great options as they promote better breathing techniques and gently stretch out the muscles. Swimming is also popular as the gentle movements and immersion in water can be therapeutic.
You may of course choose to take your rest days and make them all about giving yourself some downtime – and why shouldn’t you? Taking time out to really relax isn’t just beneficial to your physical health, it can also do wonders for your mental well-being. Some opt for nice, chilled days on the sofa with a boxset whilst others prefer to relax by spending time with others. It’s all about preference. One way you can really give your body a treat and relax is by taking a few hours out at a spa. Using a sauna and steam room can really help work through muscle aches and pains, whilst a massage should be one the first points of call for anyone who takes part in regular physical activity.
Resting between workout days can feel like a get out – but trust us, add in that recovery day and you’ll see a big difference both in your performance and the results you achieve.
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