Repeat after us, “It’s okay to take a rest day”.
In fact, it’s important you do take a rest day.
Rest days not only help you refocus mentally but are also crucial to allow your body to recover between workout sessions and avoid serious injury from overextending yourself.
This week we’re breaking down exactly why you should take a rest day, when you should take a rest day and ways you can stay active without injuring or straining your body.
Dangers Of Overtraining
We all know that feeling, you’ve got the motivation to hit the gym and you want to see those results fast so you’re going daily and putting your all into it.
That kind of dedication is great but pushing yourself to the max and overtraining can actually do your body more harm than good.
When you overextend yourself in the gym without taking a rest day you’re not giving your body the time it needs to recover and rebuild for your next session.
Taking a rest day can even improve your results as your muscles need to recover to rebuild tissue, build muscle and improve your strength. If you continue to push through, you not only make building muscle more difficult for yourself, but you also risk tearing muscle tissue and seriously injuring yourself.
When Should You Have A Rest Day?
Although everyone should be incorporating rest days into their weekly workout routine, the kind of rest day and frequency really depends on your fitness level.
If you are a beginner or just starting out with a new exercise regime, make your rest day every third day. Working out for no more than 2 days consecutively.
If you are more comfortable with your routine and have a decent fitness level, you can keep your rest day to just once a week.
As you learn your own strengths and limitations, you can alter your workout schedule and your rest days according to what works for you. The goal is to find the balance of staying active, pushing yourself physically but not straining yourself to injury.
Active Rest Days
Now we want to be clear, a rest day doesn’t mean you have to sit down in front of the TV all day.
Of course, how inactive you are on your rest day depends on the intensity of your workouts leading up to it. For example, if you are putting in 100% to your workouts and really pushing yourself, your rest day could be just that, resting.
However, if your workouts are light to moderate (as is with most beginners) you can remain active with something such as a walk, a light bike ride or even yoga. Having active rest days can actually help improve your recovery by increasing blood flow to your muscles and tissues and boosting your circulation which is important for those in their early stages of improving their fitness levels.
Essentially, stay active, but don’t stress about whether or not you’re breaking a sweat.
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