We often urge you to “listen to your body” and “remember to rest.” That’s because those two key pieces of advice are incredibly beneficial to your success on your journey to health. We want to make sure that you see progress toward your goals in the healthiest way possible. If you schedule your workouts the right way and include a rest day, your habits will last, and so will your results.
With that being said, we are very aware of the stigma about “rest days.” I get it. “Rest is for the weak!” I even say that from time to time in regards to my work-life. However, as with anything, you need to take a break every once in a while in order to get a good life/muscle reset.
When we suggest “rest days,” we don’t mean for you to sit on your couch all day and binge watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix (OK, OK, that’s what I tend to do). You can still stay active while you rest. Yes, it’s true!
So, read on, friends! Let’s take a journey into healthy R&R.
What Happens to My Body on a Rest Day?
What if I told you that resting actually makes you stronger?
When you workout, you are putting strain on your entire body. Your muscles tear, your joints crack and pop, and the strain breaks your body down little by little. You wake up, and are so sore from leg day that walking down the stairs feels like absolute torture.
When you give yourself 48-72 hours a week of rest, you give your muscles time to repair themselves and gain the extra strength that you have been working so hard to achieve.
If you continually train (7 days a week), then your body never actually has time to catch up and heal itself. That’s where injury comes in, my friends! If you want to recover and build up those triceps so that you can dip between two skyscrapers in New York City (please, don’t try this), then you have to let your muscles rebuild.
Did you hear that? You have to let your muscles rebuild.
Not only will you be amongst the strongest of your friends at the beach, but you will also have a much better chance of reaching your goals without injury.
But, I Don’t Want to do Nothing all Day!
We all have goals that we have set out to reach, and it can be hard to talk ourselves out of being active for even a single day when we see a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a good thing to want to be active each day! Like we said above, we do not want you to sit around for 24 hours.
However, you should consider an “active rest day.” On active rest days, you find a low-impact workout to complete. This may include attending a yoga class, walking your dog, going for a jog in the park or even trying a new exercise like PiYo.
Active rest days mean that you still get a little bit of sweat in, and you won’t be as sore and stiff when you hit the gym again. This is a win-win. So, enjoy it!
There are countless opportunities to be active while you are resting. Find something that you love to do, and gets your mind off of counting reps and maxes. Do that two or three times a week in lieu of a workout.
We promise that you will come out stronger in the end.