When you want to get serious about your fitness, one of the most important things is to stay consistent. Making sure to stick to your intended training schedule will help you to form better habits and foster a lifelong love of keeping fit.
With all this said, you should also be aware that it is possible to train too much. Yes, that’s right, even the most amazing athletes and dedicated gym-goers don’t train the same way every single day. That’s not because they’re lazy, it’s because they know the importance of rest days.
So, what is a rest day, and why is it so important? Read on to learn what science says about this vitally important workout component.
What Is a Rest Day?
Obviously, a rest day is a day when you take a break from your training. But what exactly does this entail? Don’t worry, it doesn’t require laying in bed all day.
All a rest day really means is taking a break from one particular type of exercise. If you’ve been running every day in a week, you should take at least one day off. Ditto for weight training or exercises such as pilates and yoga. This doesn’t mean complete rest, but rather resting the particular muscles you have been targeting.
In fact, you can go about your day completely as normal on a rest day. You can even go to the gym—just make sure you’re training different parts of your body.
Why Are Rest Days Important?
You may be eager to fit in as much training as your schedule will allow, and you may be thinking “the more exercise, the better, right?” but there is a good reason for rest days. Believe it or not, they actually help your training and fitness in the long run.
When you are exercising, you are putting two types of strain on your muscles. The first is metabolic strain, which comes from depleting the energy stored in individual cells in your muscles. The second is the physical strain that comes from damage caused to protein in your muscle during a workout.
What happens on a rest day is that your muscles have time to repair themselves your body can recover from this stress. If you skip rest days, it can cause great damage to your muscles, which can result in your not being able to work out at all.
Rest days are an important part of your body’s recovery fitness so that you can be in the best shape possible. They actually fuel your workouts and allow you to push yourself harder. As such, they are an essential part of any training routine.
Don’t Skip Rest Day
Rest days are arguably one of the most important components of a workout regimen. Of course, you have to put the work in to see results, however, without allowing time for proper rest and recovery, none of it would be possible. If you’ve enjoyed this guide to workouts and recovery, don’t forget to check out some of our other fitness content.