Rest Days…Yes, you should embrace them!
Incorporating rest days into your regular fitness routine is just as important as the “active” days. Resting is an equal part of the total process required to build strength, muscle and increase endurance. Working out, especially resistance training, breaks your body tissues down…Rest days allow your muscles time to rebuild.
Resting your body has value. It makes you stronger, because it allows the muscles that you have broken down to heal and recover. It is the rest that also allows you to recover so you can be strong, and thereby handle the increased weight, increased number of sets and increased reps needed to move forward with your fitness level.
Rest days are important regardless of whether you are training for a marathon or just trying to maintain good health. The idea that more is always better doesn’t apply with exercise.
When looking at your fitness routine, incorporating low, moderate and high-intensity workouts is important and will allow proper rest for the body. This process is called periodization and utilizing all types of exercise in your routine will have the greatest effect.
Below is a great article that dives deeper into periodization:
By utilizing all forms of exercise intensities, it allows you the proper rest time for your body to rebuild muscle tissue. Without the proper recover time, you might hit a plateau in your performance, you may see injury plague your body and you might even experience reduced performance (less strength, less endurance, fatigue, etc.)
So what next? What’s the right amount of rest? It’s very personal and it’s important to listen to your body and the cues that it gives you. But generally, in a one week (7 days) cycle – you might have 2-3 high intensity days, 2-3 moderate intensity days 1-3 low intensity days. It’s important to schedule at least 1 rest day out of every 7-10 days.
Cheers to our health (and rest days!),