When should I take a rest day?
I struggled with this question for a long time. I felt that if I took a full day off I was being lazy and compromising my progress. I soon discovered the opposite to be true. Taking a day away from the gym is not only good for you; it’s necessary!
If you are like me you want results and you want them fast. I used to push myself beyond reasonable limits thinking I was achieving more, when actually I was setting myself up to break down.
When you work out intensely and do not allow your body to recover, you risk injury, a weakened immune system, severe soreness, and mood swings. Muscle gains become impossible to achieve because you remain in a catabolic state (muscle/ tissue breakdown).
How much rest is needed?
If you have made a habit of working out for 3-6 months, I would recommend at least one full day of rest. Two would be even better. Taking a walk, doing a deep stretch class or a non-power yoga class on one of these days is fine, but nothing more.
If you are new to working out, I recommend either a two-day on with one day off or every other day split. Listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs!
Enhance your days off:
My favorite things to do when I am not training not only help my body, they replenish my mind. The time away from the gym is meant to refresh your mind and body so that you are even more focused and empowered when you get back to work. Do activities that you love and that make you happy!
I also can’t tell you how much benefit I have received from getting a weekly massage and regularly visiting my Chiropractor, Dr. Denisa Weber. Seriously, it took two visits and I literally felt like a new man. Her office, Serving Life Chiropractic is located in Snider Plaza. Trust me on this one, you won’t be disappointed.
Thankfully after years of thinking, “push harder, workout more, don’t rest!” I am happy to say I know much better now.
Take a day to recover. Your body NEEDS it!