5 reasons why a Rest Day will help you achieve your goals in the long term.
Rest is imperative to our health and wellbeing. We know it enables us to recover, rejuvenate and get ready for the day ahead. If you're not incorporating a Rest Day into your training plan here are 5 reasons why you should be:
- MUSCLES GROW WHILE RESTING - Once you have completed your workout your body needs time to repair. Each time you lift weights you stimulate micro tears in your muscles and as they repair they become stronger than before - that's how you improve.
- SLEEP IMPROVES OUR ABILITY TO FUNCTION - Making sure you have a good, solid sleep will keep you going and prepare you for the next day. Fatigue can lead you down many unwanted paths. Firstly, general tiredness can impair your cognitive ability and increase your irritability - that won't make a friendly and happy home, workplace or friendship. A good sleep or rest can really allow you to reconnect with your headspace. Often if you are tired your ability to make good decisions can be tested. Micro sleeps whilst driving can put us in danger as can fatigue whilst training - you may be clumsy, have poor reaction times and this can lead to injuries and accidents.
- PREVENTS INJURIES - Over training is one of the main reasons clients get injured. Once the body is fatigued it will start to compensate with uneven movements, cramps, muscle spasms and even tendonitis or injury. Continuing to do the same movements whilst injured can have detrimental effects, potentially making it harder to treat and take longer for rehabilitation. Ensuring you have variety in your training, rest days between sessions and time to rehab, ice or elevate injuries will also prevent injuries in the first place.
- MENTAL DISCIPLINE - We all know the mental fortitude it takes to train daily for a big goal - strength training, a triathlon, a running event or a body sculpting competition. These all take time - steady, incremental and planned progressions are what it takes to get you to the peak level of performance ideal for you. It therefore takes just as much courage and discipline to rest when required and take time out or pull back on your training when you are just not up to it - It's not to be confused with making an excuse to not train just to be flexible. If you take the day off or pair back your intensity you will also find the drive to get back to it even stronger as we know - distance makes the heart grow fonder and that can be said for our love of exercise.
- IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT - Make sure when you're making your exercise plan with your trainer, you take into account all the areas of your life and consider your down time or rest days. Resting will give you the energy you need to go forward. Our amazing body is made up of so many systems that support us in general living. If we don't rest and one of those systems becomes vulnerable our body can react in many ways and most of these lead to fatigue or some kind of malaise or disease. Make sure you support your body by feeding it plenty of fresh, nutrient dense, delicious food. You may need to add supplements along the way to make sure your vitamin and mineral intake is sufficient. Sleep, rest, massage and low impact exercises like Yoga and Pilates can also help in this area.