Why Rest Days Aren’t Just For Your Body

Fitness // Louise McDonald

You have these things called ‘rest days’ scheduled as part of your overall 12WBT Exercise Plan, yet you feel good and perhaps want to bypass those rest days for workout sessions every day.

Here are some reasons to highlight why rest days are just as valuable as your training days, and why you should treat the other side of training with the diligence you place on those active workouts.

Injury Prevention

Taking some down time to allow your muscles to relax and repair offers a much better space to keep them safe and strong.

Joint Health

Be nice to your joints with some time to recover between sessions. You want longevity with these and this means resting at regular intervals.

Also read: Easy Ways to Workout at Home

Overtraining Prevention/Avoiding Burnout

With the time taken to adequately recuperate, the chances of overtraining/burnout is reduced, and a great mindset around the importance of ‘just being’ is about being present. It’s OK to spend time resting, and is an important practice towards a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Often, when rest days are given less attention, obsessive patterns or perceptions of how things should be can start to creep in.

Recharge

This goes without saying – we need to do this! We all need to stop, refuel and plug ourselves back in for a power charge up. This can be a combination of reduced activity or no exercise, rehydrating our bodies and incorporating some nutritious foods that fill up our energy reserves.

Mental Clarity

When we put too much into our exercise, get less sleep and maybe even inconsistent nutrients due to the hectic nature of these routines, we can lose our edge. Having mental clarity and focus is paramount for success in tackling goals, as even when your body is tired and sore, your headspace can be the warrior that pulls you through, keeping you moving forwards!

Also read: Yes, You CAN Have Fun Running!

Emotions

We’re emotional creatures and we thrive on love. Spending some time out from the usual routine in all facets of our lives can be wonderful for empowering our commitment to healthy choices, and our resilience to that sometimes unhelpful inner chatter.

Stress Reduction/Hormones

Resting is relaxing! Don’t wind yourself up even more. Do something that you find easy, chilled and that you enjoy. Fill your rest days with awesome ‘you time’, and even if this means you’re still moving, keep it light hearted and easy, both physically and mentally.

Goal Alignment

By not taking sufficient rest days, staying perfectly in line with your goals can get tricky. Think about how many times you may have moved your target or worse yet, not even getting close as you found the process too overwhelming. Resting at regular intervals gives you the opportunity to take stock, revisit your reasons for those goals and fire up before your next session. This means you’re at your best and always putting one foot in front of the other.

Also read: How Much Water Do You Really Need to Drink?

Nutrition

Rest days are great for anchoring a clean approach to your nutrition, and what better way to take some time out from exercising with some healthy meal preparation. Food choices are much better when you’re in sync with the correct level of exercise. This way you’re not depleted and making choices to satisfy a craving due to a deficiency.

Hydration

Drink drink drink… no excuses for not getting enough water! Rest days are a really good way to focus on rehydrating your body.

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