Having a schedule, working out frequently, and pushing our bodies to the limit is a very important part of achieving the next level or reaching a new fitness goal. However, it could actually be taking a break from the gym that could be the most important step to take for wellbeing and proper athletic advancement. Yes, certainly, we always hear about the incredible benefits of staying on a strict fitness regime, but the importance of rest days is not emphasized as much as it should be. Taking the proper time to relax, rest, and give your body (and muscles) a much needed break can actually ensure that your muscles are well cared for. Working out too much, or overstressing muscles can cause injury, damage, and worse. Rest days could actually be the thing that keeps you moving longer and training better. But don’t trust us, see the facts. We’ve done the research and figured out some of the biggest benefits to adding regular rest days to your work out schedule. From tools to use, to tips for scheduling your ideal break, see all of the ways resting should be as important as intensive workouts. Because, it’s all about balance.
Resting allows time for muscle recovery - During exercise your muscles go through microscopic tears in the muscle tissue and the breakdown of glycogen for fuel. During rest, the mini muscle tears are repaired and your energy levels are restored. This process takes time and is essential in the regaining of strength and healthy muscle tissue.
Reduces risk of injury - The muscle tears caused from weightlifting and body weight exercises need time to heal. If they are constantly being pushed the tears can grow and your muscles will feel swollen. This leaves you vulnerable to many injuries.
Improves performance - During rest when the muscle tears are being repaired this is when your muscles grow. Taking the necessary time to allow your muscles to recuperate will leave you stronger for your next work out.
Effective tools to use during rest days:
Foam rollers - Can be a simple tool to relieve muscle soreness, tightness, and inflammation. It can also help increase your joint range of motion.
Stretching - Stretching is a great activity you can do on your rest day to decrease muscle soreness and increase flexibility.