Active rest days are important. Are taking advantage of rest days?
Working out can help you stay fit and healthy, but there is no denying that committing to a regular workout schedule is much more challenging than it sounds. To do this, you will need to be dedicated and determined, but some days, it can be harder than usual to find the motivation to exercise. If you ever feel this and start to get discouraged, know that you are not alone as everyone experiences these and has days where they do not feel like working out. One way to address this concern is by learning about the importance of taking an active rest day.
A common misconception about becoming fit is that you have to exercise as many days in a week as possible. Naturally, training regularly will help you reach your fitness goals. However, this does not mean that you should avoid having rest days and work out every day. This mindset is not only misleading but can also be harmful as you may overexert yourself and cause psychological stress.
When working out, your goal is to achieve an efficient work to rest ratio, so adding active recovery days to your routine is essential. Read on to learn about how you can incorporate these into your training and how to make the most out of your workouts.
Importance of Active Rest Days
Taking time off at least once a week is important to give your body and muscles time to repair. If you are training intensively in a gym, you are tearing your muscles and pushing your body, so once these heal, you can become stronger. Essentially, rest days allow you to recover your overall system to consolidate all the hard work that you have done.
One important thing to note is that an active rest day does not mean that you simply lounge around and do nothing. As the term suggests, you are still “active” but dialing the intensity down by doing much lighter activities throughout the day. Rest days can help balance your workout program to ensure that you get the results that you want, but aside from these, sleep and hydration are also crucial to help your body recover.
What to Do on Active Rest Days
Now that you know that rest days do not literally mean sitting on the couch all day, you may be wondering what you should do on an active rest day. During this time, you can skip on intense workouts and swap them for a light cardio or active recovery workout. Yoga is the perfect light workout since it is low impact but still promotes range of movements and meditation. Stretching and foam rolling are also highly recommended since these allow you to relieve any tension and strains that may have built up in your muscles.
You need not pressure yourself on what to do on a rest day, but you must still be mindful of your health. Take this time to spend time with friends and family, prepare meals in advance, practice mindfulness, take a walk outside to bask in nature, and generally move around without doing anything too intense. Do not overexert yourself on these days, but it can still be easy to go back to your old ways if you break your routine abruptly.
Frequency of Active Rest Days
There is no hard rule to determine how many days a week you set aside for rest, but you must always allot at least one day per week for this. If you are undergoing personal training, your trainer will likely recommend a certain number of days based on the type of workouts you are doing. The frequency may vary based on your lifestyle, training style and intensity, and other factors that can affect how long your body takes to recover.
Training rigorously will certainly help you stay physically active and fit, but as with anything else, too much can be harmful. When it comes to working out, active rest days are key to achieving the most efficient and effective results. If you are exercising everyday but see no results, it may be because you are not giving your body enough time to heal and rejuvenate.