Why we Need Rest Days
For many people working towards a goal, rest days get pushed to the back burner. Or for many who just love to exercise (like me), we forget the importance of including them in our weekly routine. However, no matter what your goal or reason for exercising, rest days are a crucial aspect of overall health and well being. PLUS, skipping rest days can actually push you away from your goals rather than towards them.
Here's a few reasons why it's rest days are necessary.
Rest allows our bodies to repair. So you've been killing it in the gym, working hard on your goals. That's awesome! All that hard work is challenging your body to perform at a level higher than it's used to during our day to day lives. When we allow our bodies to rest, we are giving them time to repair so we can go harder the next time we hit the gym!
Rest reduces the risk of injury. No one wants to get injured right? If we are constantly over working our bodies, then not allowing them to recover, our risk of injury increases. Allowing time to rest will allow our bodies to again, repair itself which will decrease our overall risk of injury.
Rest days make you stronger. Again, when you are working hard in the gym, particularly with resistance training, you are actually breaking down your muscle tissue causing tiny tears in the muscles. Rest days allow your muscle, nerves and bones to repair in a process called regeneration. This process results in your muscles growing back STRONGER than they were before. Which means, rest days help you build muscle!
Rest days keep your immune system healthy. A hard workout will cause your body to initiate an inflammatory response. This response is normal and okay when it only happens a few times a week. However, when it is happening all the time do to constant stress from working out everyday, it can cause your body to be in a constant state of inflammation. Heightened inflammation in the body can weaken the immune system making your more susceptible to germs. Getting sick means more forced rest days from working out!
Rest days allows mental reset and increased motivation. You've heard the saying absence makes the heart grow fonder right? Taking a day or two off from the gym can allow you the mental rest to motivate you even more when you get back into the gym. You may find that you have more energy and motivation to push harder, lift heavier and have a better overall workout.
Bottom line, rest is absolutely crucial in any health journey and should not be disregarded. Be sure to include at least 1-2 days of full rest each week for optimal results with your wellness goals!
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