Why Are Recovery Days Important?
Whether you are a beginner or a long-time fitness enthusiast, your body needs to rest. I know it’s hard to put down the weights or unlace your trainers. But taking a recovery day or two can actually benefit you more than you know.
Why Does Your Body Need To Recover?
When you perform an intense enough workout, you are essentially breaking down your muscles. It takes approximately 1-2 days for these muscles to recover and rebuild. If you don’t let your muscles properly recover, you’ll be too exhausted to even finish your next workout. You also pose less of a risk of injuries when you take rest days. For example, runners place a huge amount of stress of the anterior leg muscles. Without proper rest, they risk shin splints, heel spur and muscle tears.
How Often Should I Take Rest Days?
Although it’s awesome to workout as often as possible, there are some days you’d be better off skipping. The best advice on recovery days is to listen to your body. I’ve been guilty of taking 2 or more consecutive rest days before. Maybe you’ve come down with the flu or didn’t get much sleep the night before. Sometimes it’s just not in the cards to workout. Also, maybe you have been overtraining. Ask yourself when the last time you had a rest day and how hard you have been working out the past 5 days or so. If you have been killing it in the gym, you might need to take a rest day soon.
What To Do On Recovery Days?
Keep in mind that recovery days aren’t the same as cheat days. It’s easy to slack off on exercise and diet on rest days because you’re not in training mode. However, you shouldn’t spend these days being a couch potato. The human body was meant to move, so even walking and stretching can be beneficial. Also, one healthy habit always leads to another. Getting in a yoga session, walking, swimming, and hiking are great activities to do on rest days. You could also do something fun to break away from your normal routine like a sport or dance class. How do you spend your rest days?
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Peace & Love,