Fitness

Rest day activated: Why your body needs it

Rest day… the dreaded word for anyone that loves to train and train hard! But sometimes we need it and our bodies will tell us when to ‘WHOAH!” Usually it will happens in a form of and injury or just feeling sore, feeling drained or just getting sick. I know it sucks, but take the time to reflect on your goals, what you achieved and what not and what to work on harder. 

Benefits of taking rest days

  • Your muscles grows on rest days. YES, believe it or not but it actually does. Just remember to also eat good on rest days otherwise it will counteract your progress. Read more about nutrition and recovery here

  • Avoid mental burn-out. Let’s face it, we are not machines that can work 24/7 without taking a break. Eventually your body will feel weaker, irritable, more sore and before you know it, BOOM, burn-out. Taking a rest day will most likely avoid burn-out and you will feel stronger next time you train.

  • Avoid the risk of over training. Over training can lead to injuries and once you have an injury it may take days, weeks or even months to get back to training at 100% capacity. Taking a breather once in a while can help avoid this.

  • Helps to repair your body. With exercise, we do a lot of damage to our tissues in our bodies. To heal these tissues our body uses our energy stores. Rest days allow the body to replenish energy stores that are needed to repair these tissues.

  • Avoid getting sick. Rest days improves your immune health. Just think of it, if you go hard all the time, your body builds up free radicals and it can affect your immune system. Taking a rest day will help fight this and since your body will recover better.

How do you feel on rest days?

Personally this is how I feel on my rest days:

  • Feel more tired. When we train our bodies releases a ‘feel good feeling’ and you have more energy after training than before. Feeling tired is totally normal and sleeping an extra hour or 2 is just what your body need to rest and recover. Some people take an active recovery day for example taking a walk, going for a swim, basically doing anything than your normal routine. This will also help you to not feel tired.

  • Feeling more hungry. If you workout, your body suppresses your appetite leaving you feeling less hungry. When you train, blood is flowing to other major aread in your body, not your stomach. Basically the more you train, the more blood is directed to the parts of our bodies that are working hard. 
    Opt to still eat healthy food on your rest day, and if you eat a bit more, that is ok. Your muscles need it, just don’t go on an unhealthy eating spree. I eat the same food as on training days with an extra snack or 2. Read more about Nutrition and Recovery here

So to conclude, next time you have to take a rest day, enjoy it! Better said than done, but your body will thank you for it.

What do you think about this topic? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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