As important as it is to know the right kind of exercises, the right duration, the right equipment (including underwear :)), and much more, it is equally or if not more important to know one fundamental thing about fitness; The Importance of Resting.
Once you get into a rhythm, once you’re in the flow of the workout, and once you’ve got the first set of workouts done, the adrenaline is pumping. Your body wants more. Your mind is in full flow and keeps asking for heavier weights, faster speeds, and longer spells in the gym or on the field. But, that might always be the right thing for you. Sometimes, many a time, more is not better.
How are Rest Days Beneficial?
Helps Your Body Recover
Your body has a finite amount of time during which it can function at the highest level. It also has a finite amount of energy and only a certain amount of stress it can take. Taking a break or having specific rest days could prove supremely beneficial. They help your body heal from all the intense exercise and allow it to recuperate its energy.
Each time you workout the muscles in your body use up the reserves of energy that they have. Downtime or a rest period allows your muscles to build up their reserves of energy so that you’re good to go for the next round!
Reduce the Chances of Injury
How many times have we been in the gym and that one last workout leads to an injury? It could be something small like a sprain/strain, or something more serious like a muscle tear. It’s your body’s way of telling you that you probably should’ve given it more rest.
Over a longer period of time, overstressing your body could cause recurring injuries and issues. Having designated rest days, proper cooling-off periods after a workout, and taking care of yourself could prevent such issues from happening.
Improves Performance During Workouts
Consistency is the key to success. But, this doesn’t refer to just the workout aspect of things, it refers to rest as well. Constantly pushing your body beyond its limits means your body has less time to recover and less time to replenish its energy sources
Over time this will reflect in your workouts as well. You will begin seeing that your body is unable to maintain the same level of performance each day. As you let your body rest and rehabilitate, it can maintain performance at the same level for longer.
Prevents Muscle Fatigue
Rest days are crucial for preventing muscle fatigue caused by exercise. During physical activity, glycogen levels in the muscles deplete, leading to fatigue and soreness. Adequate rest is essential to allow the body to replenish these glycogen stores, which not only helps prevent fatigue but also promotes muscle regeneration and improves muscle tone.
Resting allows the body to repair and rebuild muscle tissues that have been broken down during exercise, leading to stronger and healthier muscles. Therefore, incorporating rest into your exercise routine is just as important as the workout itself, as it helps optimize performance and overall fitness.
Enables a Healthier Sleep Schedule
Rest days are an essential component of maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, especially after engaging in intense physical activity such as running or workouts. Although exercise can enhance the quality of your sleep by increasing energy-boosting hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, excessive physical activity can lead to an overproduction of these hormones.
This can ultimately impair the quality of your sleep, resulting in fatigue and exhaustion. Incorporating rest days into your exercise routine can help your body restore its hormone levels, allowing for a more balanced state and ultimately leading to better sleep quality.
Therefore, taking breaks and allowing your body to rest is crucial for promoting overall physical and mental well-being.
It Helps Improve Immunity and Motivation
Rest days between workouts are essential for improving immunity and motivation. Physical activity, while beneficial for overall health, places stress on the body, leading to inflammation and increased cortisol levels. This can suppress the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to infections and illnesses. Taking rest days between workouts allows the body to repair and recover, reducing inflammation and restoring the immune system’s function.
Additionally, rest days provide a mental break from the demands of exercise, preventing burnout and promoting motivation to continue with the workout routine. Incorporating rest days into your exercise regimen can help you achieve optimal physical and mental health, allowing you to perform better and feel energized for your next workout session.
Rest days give you a chance to reflect on the days gone by as well. You can review your workout plan, see if it is meeting your needs, and understand where you are on your fitness journey.