Okay, so you’re on a roll and finally seeing progress - we get it, some days it can be hard to understand how taking a rest day is going to do anything but throw you off track. Well, the truth is, it’s really important to include deliberate recovery time in your weekly routine and failing to do so can actually hinder your progress.
How can that be? Let’s talk about it! To put it plainly, just as your brain needs time to
recuperate after a long day at the office, your body requires this same rest in order to avoid physical (and mental) burnout.
TAKE A BREAK
As Josh Silverman, head of education at an elite London Fitness Center shared with Woman’s health, ‘Strength, power, speed, and muscle mass actually increase during resting periods. So, if you go HAM the entire time and don’t allow your body to “catch up” you could find you don’t progress as quickly as those who are savvy enough to incorporate rest days.'
Not only is the question of progression in the picture, but physical wellbeing and injury as well.
‘Although your muscles may “feel” ready to train, your central nervous system might be pretty fatigued leading to bad movement patterns and this can increase the chance of injury.’ When we start to consider the mental aspect of the equation - it is just as important.
For most people, working out 7 days a week every week is simply not sustainable. Sure, you might be able to push through a few weeks without taking any time off, but in the long run, this often leads people to lose their gust of motivation and is a proven method to break up the consistency that many of us are after.
"Strength, power, speed, and muscle mass actually increase during resting periods"
It’s crucial to find a cadence that works best for you and your training schedule. If strength training is your jam, 1 day of rest is usually what is suggested and if you are hitting cardio more days than not, it is suggested that you up that to 2 days off to give your body the rest that it needs.
When the rest days come around, be sure that you are stretching out sore muscles, hydrating and fueling adequately and also taking the physical and mental rest that your body will thank you for later - even when that means having a movie marathon and staying in all day.