When you are motivated and are on an exercise program where you’re rockin’ n rolling’, consistent, building momentum, cranking on all cylinders, AND you’re hitting your workouts with great intensity, the last thing you may want to do is take a break and have a rest day.
However, taking a rest day for yourself is extremely crucial to your progression and long term health moving forward. Rest and recovery go hand in hand and are just as important to your body as exercise and proper eating.
Your body needs to have the ability to recover to its natural state to help you achieve optimal levels of health & fitness and to avoid injury.
Check out these 5 tips below about the importance of incorporating a rest day into your exercise regimen:
Helps Prevent Injury
Rest days helps you prevent overusing your muscles. If you exercise every single day and/or are using the same muscles frequently without giving them a break, then you’re going to eventually break down the muscle by overusing it and become more susceptible to a possible injury.
Helps Your Muscles Perform at a High Level
How many times have you went away for a long weekend or went on a weeklong vacation, then you went back to work on that Monday fully energized, motivated, and ready to perform at a high level? Well, your body is similar and needs that same kind of away time to be able to respond and give you the amount of intensity that you desire in your workouts. Would you rather go to the gym 7 days this week and perform at 70% each day or would you rather workout 5 days this week at 100%? That’s simple math right there: 70 x 7 = 490 and 100 x 5 = 500. Either way you look at it, over a week’s time, you’ll get more by doing less. Your workouts should be more about quality and efficiency!
Helps You Stay Sharp Mentally
This is a benefit that often gets overlooked in the world of exercise. We’ve all felt some form of burnout in our lives with everyday interactions such as our jobs, our relationships, our kids, our friends, our communities, our economy (just to name a few) and we all know that that feeling is awful. In almost every burnout situation, one of the best ways to break past that slump and improve your mental state is to remove yourself from the situation with a built in break. So in the example of health & fitness, you can exercise every other day to help prevent and/or heal your burnout so that you can function and perform at higher mental capacities.
Helps Your Immune System Stay Strong
When you’re hitting your workouts hard, your immune system begins to activate in order to help repair all of the muscles, tendons, and joints in your body. Therefore, if you don’t allow your body to properly rest, recover, and rejuvenate itself – then you are opening yourself up for potential injuries which takes us back to point number 1 listed above.
Helps Your Muscles Repair and Recover Quicker
Have you ever been extremely sore after a workout? Even sometimes for several days? Well if so, chances are that you didn’t give your body enough time to heal and repair the muscles that you are constantly breaking down in your body each time that you work out. The more that you let your body repair these muscles, the quicker you will be able to build and recover in future workouts, which will help you to avoid injuries moving forward.
So just like anything else in your workout plan, you have to plan for breaks in order to provide the body with the necessary care in order to stay safe.
If you look at the 5 points listed above, the common theme in each point is that you’re ultimately helping yourself avoid an injury. Safety and injury prevention are the highest priorities in every workout and in every exercise regimen. So please provide yourself with the best opportunities to not get hurt and always listen to your body so that you can live a long and high quality life!