Most people know and understand the importance of exercising, but what about resting?
Taking rest days during an exercise program is an essential part of muscular growth and gains. When the body is put under immense stress during your workout, it needs time to recover and repair itself! Muscular gains are made after a workout when micro tears that occur within the muscle fibers during a workout heal and repair. If an inadequate amount of time is given to the body to rest and recover, proper repair won’t happen! The frequency of your rest days is dependent on your workout intensity and fitness level.
If you would consider yourself a beginner you might want to include a rest day after every 2-3 consecutive workout days. If you are more intermediate in your level of fitness, you might even want to work out every other day and rest each day in between. If you are more advanced, you are probably fine to work out for 4-5 consecutive days, before taking a rest day.
What should you do on your off days? Here are 5 different options:
- Stretching and foam rolling are great activities to perform on your rest days! They are non-strenuous and allow your body to rest and recover while continuing to work on mobility and soreness prevention.
- If you are more active, rest days may include walking or light jogging. Keep in mind it should stay easy and light.
- With warmer weather around the corner, take a break outside! Recreational sports or going to a pool can be great alternatives to doing nothing at all while resting.
- If you’re more of the indoor type of person, taking a relaxing yoga or meditation class can help the mind and body recover!
Just remember, having adequate rest is just as important as a workout!