It can be hard to step back from a training program and work towards a goal when you are committed to it. You may feel that you are slowing down your progress by sticking to a routine.
A rest day is more than just a few minutes of movement. Rest days are a time for your body and mind to rest, heal, reset, and recharge. People obsessed with getting fit may forget that rest is as important as working out.
Rest allows your muscles and energy to heal. You’ll likely feel stronger and fitter when you return to the gym, which will allow you to train harder and make greater improvements.
It is also good to take a day off from training to prevent injuries. Regular rest days are better than pushing your body to the limits and becoming injured. This is overtraining. In addition to injuries, it can also cause extreme fatigue, poor sleep, and mood swings.
Rest days don’t mean that you must sit down all day. Active recovery methods include long walks, biking, and yoga. Foam rolling or any other form of mobility movement can also help get your body ready for exercise.
Many times, you should listen to your body and give it the rest it deserves. We’ll walk you through the most important signs to help you relax and get well.
If You Are Barely Sleeping
Without sleep, life is impossible. If you don’t get enough sleep, things can be more difficult. Alex Marks, personal trainer, founder of on Your Marks studio, says that exercising when you don’t get a good night’s rest can make your energy levels drop.
You will have less energy if you don’t sleep well. This could lead to you being severely depleted of energy throughout the day. Marks says that many people believe “pushing through” is the best option. This can lead to a dependence on caffeine, poor performance, and possible sugar highs or lows.
Marks says, “If you can avoid sugar and over-caffeinated spells in your day by eating balanced meals followed up by a earlier bedtime, then you will make up lost time.” Take a rest day and concentrate on nutrition and a good night’s sleep.
When you’re uncomfortably sore
Delay-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). is something that most exercisers are familiar with. It can cause injury and disrupt your training. It usually occurs 24 to 72 hours following a workout. This is due to micro-tears in muscles that result from training.
DOMS does not mean you should stop exercising. Marks suggests that light movement and mobility can be used to make the most of a rest day. It is possible to modify your workouts to work different muscles than those you are currently working out.
Marks says that while Marks isn’t saying “what doesn’t kill me makes you stronger”, it’s a good idea to look for opportunities to move within your body’s capabilities. You can also help your recovery by sleeping, eating according to your calorie ceiling (the maximum calories you have to reach your goal), and hydrating. Massage therapy is another great option.
If It’s been a week since your last rest day
There are no rules about how many rest days you should have for each workout day. However, it is a good idea to aim for one to two per week.
Marks says, “If your feet are itchy, consider a yin-style yoga class.” It’s unlikely that you are training for the Olympics, so make sure you have a program covering everything you would need to do to be at your best.
Marks suggests that you sleep, eat, and enjoy being social instead of working out. Next week, you should refine the days that you exercise. You can plan your training and find out what you can do to improve your performance or your routine.
When you’re sick
An illness can strike at any moment. If the pandemic taught us anything, you should avoid others to prevent them from getting sick. You may not be able to train effectively, so make sure to keep others safe. Exercise can worsen the illness, and it’s important to avoid exercising while you are ill. Instead of prolonging your symptoms, you should take a break from exercising and allow your body to heal.
Marks says, “If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms starting at the neck, it is time to stop.” For head colds, light to moderate exercise is acceptable. Consider that your symptoms may worsen if you are consuming too much energy. This could make it more difficult to fight off a virus.
If You Are Too Stressed
The human body can manage stress. Some stress can be beneficial for us. Long-term, chronic stress can be a problem and can cause serious mental and physical health problems.
Exercise can be a source of stress for the body. When combined with other stressors, such as mental or physical, it can impact our ability to function well. Marks says that physical stress, in addition to emotional and mental stress, can lead to a body that is overwhelmed. Marks says it is frightening to see the modern diseases linked to stress statistics. He suggests that you take care of your mental health by taking naps, walking long distances, calling friends, or visiting a therapist.