Time is a precious commodity, and when planning a workout regimen, it may seem like rest days are a luxury you just can’t afford. In fact, the opposite is true. You can’t afford to skip them.
Why do I need to take rest days?
The benefits of rest and recovery for the body are well documented. So are the risks of not incorporating regular breaks in your hard-hitting workout routine at least every 7-10 days. Without a day off, you may find that muscle soreness becomes chronic or that you’re more susceptible to injury. You’ll feel energy levels drop and see your progress begin to slow. You may even begin losing muscle, which is exactly the opposite of the goal you’re working so hard to achieve.
Here are the benefits of adding regeneration or rest days to your workout schedule:
Taking one day off from intense workouts gives the body time to remove lactic acid that builds up in the muscles during workouts. If the lactate just continues to build up in the muscle tissue, you’ll be sore constantly and have issues with endurance, strength, and range of motion.
The process of exercise makes tiny tears in muscle fascia, especially when lifting to “failure.” Your body needs time for cellular rebuilders to make repairs that actually build muscles so they’re stronger.
Muscles store energy in the form of glycogen so they can do the work you’re asking them to do. Depleting that quick energy without allowing the muscles to rebuild their store of glycogen can quickly lead to muscle fatigue and diminished progress during workouts.
You have to stay healthy to continue getting your workouts in. Rest days allow you to take a break, both mentally and physically, and can decrease your risk of injury and burnout.
What if I don’t want to just sit around?
That’s the beauty of rest days. They don’t have to be zero-activity days. You’re not barred from hitting the gym for a Hydromassage session or a yoga class, both of which are great options for no-impact, low-intensity work that can help muscles regenerate. In fact, like a traditional massage, muscle fascia manipulation through Hydromassage or deep yoga stretches can increase blood flow to help expel lactate faster and speed tissue repairs.
Contact us today to become more intentional with scheduling rest days, and set yourself up for Hydromassage or learn more about the yoga classes at Etage Athletic. If you need more guidance on how to successfully incorporate rest as a strategic element essential for meeting your performance or strength goals, schedule a personal training session. Trainers know what it takes to get the most out of recovery activities, and they can help you keep seeing real progress – even when you take a day “off” now and then.