REPAIR & RECOVER
Our bodies aren’t machines that can be worked 24/7. Even machines get overheated and need to turn off. We want our bodies to be the best they could but constantly working on them could lead to injury and even not get those results you most desire. This is where rest days come into play. I remember the days where I had worked out every day without resting for probably a good month. I was constantly burnt out, weak, both physically and mentally, and didn’t get the results I had hoped for. Now I’ve have learnt my lesson. Overtraining is never a good thing and it was hell to be honest.
Even if you feel like you need to exercise, try going for a walk, yoga or light stretches, foam roll, anything light and not rigorous. Stretching will help lengthen your muscle but remember to stretch them when they’re warm. Cold muscles will tear. Think of it like blu-tac. It snapped easier when you had pulled it whilst it’s cold right? Then when it’s warm, it was able to stretch more.
Here are the main reasons why rest days are valuable.
Injury is the last thing anyone wants. During a workout, your muscles will tear and you will need to rest in order for them to repair themselves so they’re ready for the next session. They need to get rid of the build-up of lactic acid and recover so they can grow and become stronger.
If you’re constantly pushing and stressing them over the limit, it will eventually lead to an injury. Once you’re injured, you’ll be out for a while and you’ll need time to build the fitness level back up again. Better to know your limits and rest.
Stops the Negative Effects on Your Health and Mood
Not only overtraining runs the risk of injury, but it will also weaken your immune system, affect your sleep and mood. You could be the most cheery, happy person but overtraining will affect you when you think it hasn’t. You might become more irritable without realising.
A weakened immune system will not only affect your muscle recovery but everything body-related. Our immune system needs time and no stress to ensure our body is in good health.
Avoid Burning Out
This applies to both mentally and physically. If you’re mentally and or physically tired, you won’t be working out at your best. Both will lead to poor form, a poor performance which may also result in injury and just giving up. This is where quality over quantity comes into place. You would want to make the most out of the workout and potentially try and challenge yourself to beat your personal best.
Taking a rest day or two or even three times a week isn’t going to hinder your fitness level. It will mainly improve your performance. After a rest day, you will feel more rejuvenated, stronger and have more energy to smash that next workout.
Remember to listen to your body. You’ve only got this one.