One of the most important elements of your workout program is rest. That can be hard to accept for someone who applies a "more is better" approach to everything, including fitness, but rest doesn't imply slacking off or not putting in a full effort during your workouts.
Instead, rest days can help you achieve optimal fitness in the most efficient, safest way possible.
Why Are Rest Days Necessary?
Rest Helps Prevent Injury
Rest leads to overuse and overuse can lead to injury. If you continue to push yourself without a break, your muscles and joints can start to break down. That's when injuries can occur.
Rest Helps Your Immune System
Your immune system can become over-taxed from repairing muscles and joints when you're in the midst of long periods of heavy activity. If you're immune system can't catch up, you can get sick and/or suffer injuries. If you suffer from an autoimmune disease or other illness, it is even more essential for you to rest your body.
Rest Helps You Mentally
Mental fatigue can be every bit as difficult to overcome as physical fatigue. Taking a rest can recharge your hunger for exercise, both physically and mentally. It's important enough that you should even schedule rest days as a standard part of your weekly workout routine.
Rest Can Help Sleeplessness
The benefits of working out include helping you sleep better, but too much physical activity without rest periods can have the opposite effect. Excessive exercise can put your body in a constant state of restlessness that makes it difficult to fall asleep and maintain adequate rest.
Rest Won't Affect Your Fitness Level
You may be of the mind-set that taking time off will decrease your exercise performance, or cause you to lose the fitness gains you've worked so hard to achieve. Studies have shown that it actually takes two weeks of non-activity before you'll experience a noticeable drop in your progress or performance level.
Rest Will Help You Avoid Weight-Loss Plateau
In a similar way that exercise helps and hinders your sleep (if done in excess), it can actually stall or halt your weight-loss efforts. Yes, exercise is a key component of any weight-loss program, but overtraining can cause you to reach a plateau caused by your body's built-in protective mechanisms.
Rest Helps You Have Energy
If you're finding it hard to get through your day because you're too tired or sore from working out, then over-training is a likely culprit. Listen carefully to your body to understand when rest - not more activity — is needed.
Working with a personal trainer such as Ralph Roberts can help you achieve your health and fitness goals in a safe, smart and effective way. Contact Ralph today to set up a free personal training session.
Like Ralph on FACEBOOK
Get daily motivational quotes and quick workouts to help you reach your goals.