Rest isn’t about being lazy or avoiding the work, it is about being at your BEST when you are working. This is true for exercise, self-care, nutrition and mindset. Rest is giving your body and mind the time to recover and get stronger.
The Science of Rest & Recovery
In fitness, when the body is doing exercise, it creates two types of stress on your muscles; metabolic stress that comes from deleting the energy stores in the individual muscle cell and the mechanical stress created by physical damage to the muscle proteins. Our muscles are more complex than you might know. The image below shows the muscle of the bicep.
Now understand when the muscles are “worked” in any form of exercise, you are tearing the small muscle fibers. You need REST and RECOVERY to rebuild these muscles.
Perhaps the most important training day of the week is the one that is often the most overlooked by many active people—the rest day!
Five Benefits of Taking Rest Days
1. Taking a rest day makes it possible to spend that extra time with your loved ones.
2. Spending a day away from your typical training environment can give you a psychological break from exercise and help your mind relax, allowing it to recover along with your muscles.
3. Feeling sluggish or drained at the end of a workout could mean your glycogen levels are depleted. If they get too low, your body could catabolize protein for fuel instead of using it to repair muscle tissue. Taking a rest day can help your body properly replace the energy stores in your muscle cells so that you have a full battery for your next hard workout.
4. A rest day allows for repair tissues damaged from the mechanical stresses of exercise. Specifically, rest allows time for the fibroblasts—individual cells that repair damaged tissues such as muscle proteins—to do their job and repair any tissues that need it.
5. The best reason for a rest day? Finish reading that book you keep starting or binge-watch that show that all of your friends are talking about. Tell yourself that you’re notbeing lazy, but rather you are focused on the recovery phase of your workout program.
The importance of rest is also very important so you do not get run down and risk injury or illness. NO ONE wants to be on the side lines, especially when it can be avoided. Listen to your body, enjoy the rest days and go back to your schedule the next day.
Take your rest. Enjoy it and get back into the swing of it tomorrow!