Rest Days and why they are more important than you think!
It’s totally fitting that I am putting together this blog post right now! Because I am actually on a forced rest day (weeks…month) I actually started to write this post before my injury but I thought now is the time to publish this post! =)
Want to see why I’m on a forced rest day check out my post here
My thoughts on rest days and how I use them to optimize my training, recover properly, and listen to my body. They may be harder than workouts sometimes. But they are so necessary to stay healthy and fit!
You have to let your body heal from the work you’ve been doing all week. Your muscles need a chance to recover and get used to the progression you’ve already made. If you push your brain too hard at work, you burn out. It’s the same with your body.
Some of the most frequent questions I get about REST days!
Are they necessary? How many should you take per week? Should they include the active recovery or pure rest? So many questions for something that seems like it should be simple. But they’re not. They’re hard, they’re anxiety-inducing for some people, and they’re not the most fun. But that doesn’t mean they’re not IMPORTANT.
As a fitness trainer, I am here to say they are 100% necessary, but they can be challenging.
I absolutely love working out, so rest and relaxation can be hard. Sometimes I feel guilty for taking a rest day and think I should be working out! It can be hard for me to sit still and just BE sometimes without always having to be DOING.
R.E.S.T. days in some cases are more important as your workout!
Seems crazy I know!R.E.S.T Days are IMPORTANT! Click To Tweet
R: RECOVER REBUILD REPLENISH
A day of rest allows your body to repair tissues damaged from the stresses of exercise. Rest allows time for individual cells that repair damaged tissues. When you work out you are breaking down your muscles they need time to rebuild and repair. This is also a great opportunity to make sure you are getting good quality sleep.
Check out my Blog post on HEALTHY SLEEP
Obviously, it’s important to work on good nutrition on active days, but it’s just as important on rest days. In fact, on rest days I focus on nutrition and nutrient density even more. Believe it or not, your body is working EXTRA hard on rest days to rebuild and replenish your muscles and glycogen stores. You may even find yourself feeling extra hungry on your days off. Don’t panic! This is totally normal and NECESSARY!
Take some extra time to really work out your muscles. Dedicate some time in your rest day to really get a good stretch in, I like to use a foam roller I use this one. Even an easy yoga class can be great for loosening up and clearing your mind!
T: TUNE IN
We sometimes tune out during our workouts. We get in a zone and even stop listening to our bodies in some cases. Use your rest day to reconnect your mind and body. Tune in. Acknowledge any slight pains you’re experiencing. Ask yourself if you need to change up your training at all. Ask yourself if you need more rest in your week than you’re already taking. Figure out if you’re enjoying your workouts or dreading them. Take time on your own to just think and dial into what your body is asking from you.
Should you actually REST on rest days?
I say YES! If you’re used to moving a lot and being active, I think one day a week of doing nothing and letting your body totally decompress and reset is SO necessary. Think about it, we’re on our feet, using our minds, and go-go-going ALL DAY EVERYDAY. We owe it to ourselves to reserve one day of total relaxation and rest. For some, this could mean lying on the couch all day watching Netflix and for others, it could mean doing light cleaning around the house. I don’t think you should feel forced to do active recovery. Sure a walk or leisurely bike ride is nice, but if you’re not feeling it and really do want total and complete rest, THAT IS OKAY.
Do you incorporate rest days on a weekly basis?
Do you struggle with taking rest days?
How do you think you can improve your relationship with rest and relaxation?
Hi!! I’m Kristin McConnell, creator of Innovative Health & Fitness, I am an Elite Fitness Trainer and a health and lifestyle blogger! I am a wife to my Amazing husband, Mom of two fabulous kids, and two dogs. We try our best to live a happy and healthy life.