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Benefits of Rest Days

12 Oct 2022 05:00AM by Carolina Sarmiento Ortiz - Digital Content Executive

Rest days can be tricky to figure out. Your body develops the need for a break but when the time arises you might feel guilty about taking a day off to recover. No matter how hard or how much you train, rest days are as important as setting fitness goals. 


Here’s why incorporating rest days into your exercise routine can help you achieve your goals and avoid burnout…

When do I know that I need a rest day?

You’ll probably need a rest day if you’re feeling tired or unmotivated to work out. But it’s good to incorporate rest days into your regular routine for the following reasons:

Rest days give your muscles a chance to repair themselves 

Whether it’s Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) from starting a brand-new workout or challenging yourself with tougher reps, being in tune with your body and acknowledging the need for recovery will prevent overtraining that can lead to injury. If you regularly run, for example, rest days give you a break from the shock on your bones and your muscles.

 

“Rest days help to reduce injury, not just to your muscles but to your bones and joints. If you run a lot, rest is essential to reduce the impact and allow your body to decompress." – David McDermott, Athletic Training Activist

 

Rest days give your mind a chance to reset

Exercising not only challenges your body but your mind too. If you’re feeling exhausted with your training or unmotivated, having some rest gives you time to focus on your daily life allowing your mind to relax and leaving you feeling refreshed. 

Rest days help you build long-term habits

We know it’s not always easy to fit exercise into a daily routine. And because it’s not always sustainable to train every day when you have long-term goals, it’s important to build a rest day around your day-to-day to make it work for you. This will help to build healthy habits that can lead to your success in achieving your fitness goals. 

Rest days help you get a good night’s sleep

Love your sleep? Taking regular rest days encourages the production of healthy hormones which, when balanced out, will help support a good night’s rest. 

What do I do on my rest days?

Rest days don’t have to be about doing absolutely nothing. If you find a bit of spare time in the day, why not make it an active rest day and mix in some light exercise? Low-impact workouts such as going for a long walk, taking a jog, or doing some stretching can help you to stay active and re-balance without overworking yourself.

Remember - there’s nothing wrong with taking a moment to pause and focus on other areas of your life. Exercise to suit your needs, not the other way around. Phrases like “No pain no gain” or “Push harder. Go longer”… put those to rest. 
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