Are Rest Days Really Necessary?
Do you want to keep progressing? Rest! Your body needs rest days between workouts, so that your muscle fibers can repair and replicate themselves. Every person may require different periods of rest since various considerations like intensity of the workouts, genetics, and even the stresses in life. Experts generally recommend one to two days a week of rest between workouts. If you feel like you’re not performing at your peak, though, you may want to look at whether you need to include additional physical and mental rest in schedule.
It’s Mental Too
Rest days are not only about resting your sore and tired muscles. You need to rest and recharge your mind just as much as your body. Otherwise, you risk burnout which could potentially lead you to give up things in your life that you care about, like your workout program. Mental burnout can impede your focus and even reduce your concentration and motivation. In the same way that more exercise is not always better, your mind needs a rest too. After all, your brain is a muscle and a critical part of everything you do.
I Do Rest
Passive rest and active rest days are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Even with knowing that rest days are necessary, studies have shown that a majority people feel didn’t get enough rest. Think about yourself and how you handle a rest day. You feel like you have to do something, so you end up having an active rest day, where you workout but at a much lower intensity than usual. Active rest days can be productive. However, you are still concentrating and focusing on your workout.
A true rest day should consist of not doing any sort of workout, and one where you are truly resting your body and mind. There are many ways to let your mind rest. You need to find something that works best for you like listening to music, hanging out with friends or family, taking a nap, or even subscribing to your favorite fitness subscription box. Do whatever it takes to refresh your mind and body. (Try to limit TV and other electronics before bed as these things might overstimulate your mind and may hinder falling asleep.)
Mind Over Matter
When you say you don’t have time to rest or exercise, you’re saying that you won’t make rest or exercise a priority. If you’re putting together your workout plan for the month, schedule your rest days. You know your body better than anyone else. If you find yourself slowing down or not able to concentrate, it may be that you are mentally drained and need some badly needed rest. Get your mind back on track, and you’ll be back on the road to achieving your peak performance.