Why are rest days so important?
If you’re trying to improve your fitness, tone up, lose weight or build muscle, you probably want to try and exercise as often as possible. After all, working out daily is a big part of achieving your goals, right?
While it is important to exercise regularly, it is equally as important to have rest days. In fact, resting is just as important as exercising, so you need to make sure you’re adding a couple of rest days into each week.
Don’t believe us? Here are some reasons you might want to give yourself a break regularly:
Your body needs to rest
One of the most important reasons you should be adding rest days into your routine is that your body needs a break. Working out gets your muscles working, which can result in torn muscle fibres. While protein can help with repairing this damage, it isn’t enough on its own.
If you don’t rest regularly, your body can’t repair itself, your immune system becomes weak and you’ll find you don’t benefit from workouts as much and that you won’t have the same levels of endurance.
Not only do you need to stagger which muscle groups you’re working on a daily basis, you also need to just take a breather and chill out for a couple of days each week.
Rest days reduce risk of injury
Failing to rest also puts you at risk of serious injury because you’re pushing your muscles and joints too hard. Overusing your joints and muscles when exercising – whether you’re lifting weights, swimming or running – means they can’t recover, will feel weaker and could result in injuries that take months to heal.
You’ll be able to feel when you’ve pushed your body too hard, so make sure you rest up when you’re starting to ache too much. If a part of your body really starts to hurt, don’t push through, put your feet up.
Keeps performance high
Rest days don’t affect your overall performance and you won’t find that you can’t run as far or lift as much just because you’ve taken 24 hours off. It actually takes weeks of no or limited activity to really affect your performance, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll get better results if you just keep going.
If anything, taking a day or so to rest up will actually help improve your performance and endurance, so it will pay off in the end.
Helps you mentally
Rest days don’t just help your body, they also help your mind. A day or so off will help you stay sharp and ready for the next workout, which means you’re more likely to stick with your exercise routine.
Not having a rest leaves you physically and mentally exhausted, which means you’re more likely to skip sessions or not put your all in. You need to recharge your body and mind, so rest days are a must.