Believe it or not, working out can quickly turn into an addiction. It is easy to get caught up when seeing results and constantly wanting more and more.
With fitness and lifting becoming quite the recent trend, it is important to know what you’re doing in order not to hurt yourself. We’re not advising you to stop working out, rather, we’re reminding you of the importance to give your body the proper rest that it deserves.
We’ve all heard that rest days are just as important to your training as meal prepping and planning out workouts, but why? Here are a couple of reasons:
This one is common sense – resting is beneficial to the reduction of injuries. One reason is that rest day prevents overworking the body and muscles. This holds true for exercises all the way up and down the spectrum including running, walking and lifting heavy weights.
Lifting heavy weights or even running puts strain on the certain muscles involved in that activity. If this strain occurs nonstop without a rest period, it is easy to pull a muscle or get an even more serious injury.
Resting Grows Muscles
Did you know that your muscles grow when you rest? Lifting heavy weights creates small tears in the muscles. It is during rest days that these tears are being repaired and become even stronger.
A rest day is equally as important to the muscle-building process as the days you work on that muscle. Your muscle-building proteins are stimulated during a work and need some time off. Usually, you’re ready to hit the gym again once you no longer feel sore.
You Won’t Lose Progress
On average, it takes about two weeks of non-activity to start losing noticeable amounts of progress.
Don’t think that taking a few days off will take away from all of the hard work that you put in thus far. Similarly, you will not gain weight from taking a rest day.
Regulate Sleeping Pattern
If you feel that you need excessive sleep in order to get through you workouts, your body may just be overworked and tired. Are you having trouble sleeping even though you feel very tired? Both of these are signs that you may be overtraining.
Your resting heart rate needs your attention in this case. Incorporating more rest days into your routine will bring down the state of constant alertness that your body is used to being in from training.
More rest days means slowing down your resting heart rate, resulting in the likelihood of a good-night’s rest.
Ever wonder why the more you exercise, the more you eat? That is because your body needs more energy to sustain the exertion. For this reason, you may find yourself eating less on the days that you are not working out.
A lot of the time, rest day also becomes cheat day. And that’s okay! It is actually a wise choice to schedule your cheat day on the same day as you rest, resulting in a complete rest from exercise and dieting.
Don’t worry, one day off won’t make you gain weight. You know what they say, “One bad meal won’t make you fat, just like one good meal won’t make you skinny”.
Research shows that you should eating some carbs on rest days. Among many other reasons, it helps prevent muscle loss as well as gets your body ready for the next day of training.
Looking at things from a psychological standpoint, a resting period provides a mental edge. This time should be used to help prevent a burnout, while fueling your hunger for training at the same time.
A mental rest is just as important as resting the muscles. A mental fatigue can affect your workouts and even your health just as much as, if not more than, physical fatigue.
Feature image via Garage Gyms