ShFit Talk #29 - Why We Need That Rest & Recovery Day


Some people love them, some people despise them, but incorporating a rest and recovery day into our fitness routine is an important part in the fitness journey.


So let’s take a closer look at what’s really in it for you when you take a rest day.


I know, I know, you can’t help but think you are being lazy when you take a day off from the gym, but in fact you are actually allowing your muscles to repair. When we workout our body breaks down all the carbs (AKA glycogen fuel) stored in our body and we create microscopic tears in our muscle tissues, but when we take that day on the couch, you can not only build up those energy reserves again, but those fibroblast cells inside our body get to work. Making your muscles stronger and better so you can crush your next workout even better.


Because we have all been there, when you just feel completely drained. Your body is sore AF and your muscles are basically telling you “Nope, Just Nope”. Sometimes it takes a week, sometimes it takes a few weeks, but eventually our body becomes completely depleted of those glycogen fuels and you need that fuel to get through your workout.


When you are rested and received and your body is ready to go, you immediately reduce the risk of injury. When we over train and push our body beyond it’s limit we start to make mistakes, we become more likely to let our form fail, misstep, cause strains, pull muscles and so much more. Hell, I can’t be the only one who watches gym fails just cringing!!! Doesn’t it sound a little less scary to take a day to rest and recover then spend a few months coming back from and injury?


Plus when you hit the gym after a rest day, you feel rested and ready to go! Not only physically but you got that mine set working for you as well. Which helps you to push yourself that little extra bit your first day back. You may run that extra mile, or add those extra 5lbs or push through that additional rep! When you are exhausted all you can think about is just BEING DONE! But when you are rested you are ready to go! Rest doesn’t just come from the couch, spending the day just Netflix-ing and Chilling, but it comes from getting good consistent sleep.

Getting a good consistent night of sleep has its own massive amount of benefits! If you catch our talk about the Importance of Sleep you can still get all the dirt on it in our blog. Rest days don’t have to be lazy days either, we are active people right and maybe the idea of just taking a day completely off is just not in the books for you. You can still do so many things. Including to get some exercise on your rest day. Take your pup for a long walk, go for a little slow yoga. Yoga is a great recovery as it helps to not only build strength but improves your body awareness and flexibility. You should tie your rest & recovery into the level of activity you are doing. If you are crushing it with daily vigorous workouts and spending hours at the gym, maybe a day off a week isn’t a bad idea, listen to your body, it gives you signs and tells you what to do. I can tell you for sure that when I train for my marathons and the day after the marathon I take FULL advantage of those rest days!


Use your rest days to give your body a self care day! Sure you may need less calories because you aren’t burning any, but you still need to make sure you fuel yourself to get enough protein and complex carbs so you can repair and refuel, and no matter what HYDRATE! You can never get enough water. If you missed our chat on water, check out our blog about the Difference Water can Make on your body.


Don’t ignore your body. Your body will give you signs that it wants….no NEEDS a rest day! Be on the lookout for

  • Persistent Soreness, not just that post leg day feel.

  • Extreme Fatigue.

  • Pain. When your body is in pain, that is a huge RED FLAG! Don’t ignore it

  • Reduced performance.

  • And so much more


There is nothing wrong with giving your body a break, trust me, it will thank you later!


References:

https://blog.nasm.org/active-recovery

https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/workout-recovery-myths-tips-according-exercise-physiologist

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/the-best-ways-to-bounce-back-after-a-tough-workout/art-20390078

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-smarter-not-longer/art-20267145

https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/rest-day

https://blog.nasm.org/wellness/shedding-a-new-light-on-your-rest-day


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