What Is A Rest Day?

You’ve been working out hard every day. You are crushing all your goals and haven’t missed a workout yet. You have FINALLY got in the workout routine that you’ve been trying to get to! Exercising every day is great for you. However, everyone needs a rest day. No matter who you are. At least one day a week to relax.

 If you are new to working out, then you may need to take more rest days throughout the week. Listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to take a rest day or think it will slow down your progress. It will actually help. Some researchers say people who are new to working out need 48 hours to recover before their next workout, 24 hours for those who have trained longer, and finally some suggest that if you’ve been training awhile then 8 hours of sleep is plenty. Your age and health all play a part in this. I believe you should listen to your body. If it is so sore that you dread walking up the stairs, then give it a break. “No pain, no gain” should become no rest, no gain in my opinion!

Did you know that muscles are made OUTSIDE of workouts, not during? When you recover is when your muscles start to form. If you don’t ever give them time to rest, you risk injury which will only keep you from your goals.

Staying out of the gym for an entire day may sound impossible for those of you who MUST be working out daily. (The rest of us are probably thinking, “You don’t have to tell me twice to take a rest day.”) Rest day doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch all day long though. Unless that’s how you feel you want to spend your hard-earned rest day. Then go on with it! For those that simply can’t imagine not doing anything all day long, well, this brings us to active recovery.

Active recovery is basically taking it easy and doing very little exercise on your rest day. If you feel up to it, you could take a long walk, a light jog, stretch, or attend an easy yoga class. Anything that keeps you active but allows your muscles to recover. Recovery is just as important as working out and eating healthy. It gives your body time to...well…recover!

Here are some tips to recover faster:

1) Hydrate

Always, always, always drink water before and after a workout. Your body is made up of water so give it back the water it needs after you work out.

2) Stretch

You’ve heard it all your life but stretching before and after your workout is just as important as the workout itself. It prevents injury and helps with soreness post workout.

3) Get the correct nutrients post workout

Make sure you are eating the correct food after a workout. You should be consuming clean carbs and protein to increase muscle protein growth, and restore glycogen.

These tips may sound redundant, but it is so easy to focus on just working out and forgetting the simple things. Put as much thought into your recovery time as you do your actual workout to get the best results!