If you’re a fitness addict or even just super motivated to create your dream body, it can be easy to over do it at the gym. Rest days are just as important as the days you train. Not giving your body planned recovery days could turn into fatigue, pain in your muscles and joints, headaches or insomnia, muscle injury, and much more. Overtraining actually works against you and might end up setting you back in the long run. We salute your dive and dedication but being dedicated to having a healthy body and achieving your fitness goals encompasses more than killing yourself at the gym. Recognize and respect the importance of rest + recovery.
Next time you’re mapping out your fitness schedule by yourself or with a trainer make it a priority to schedule rest days as part of the plan. Still not sure? Here are a few reasons why recovery days are an essential part of your fitness journey:
Muscle Repair - While working out you’re essentially breaking down muscle tissue. After your workout, your body repairs and replaces damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process where it fuses muscle fibers together to form new muscle protein strands. Therefore, planning 1-2 days off a week will give your body the recovery it needs for repair. For instance, one way to do this is to break it up during the week by taking Wednesday’s and Sunday’s off. Some like to get their training completed during the week and then taking the weekend off to be with their families. Choose what is best for your lifestyle and schedule. Give your body and muscles a chance to recover and go through the healing process that builds new muscle fibers and ultimately sculpts the body you’re working toward.
Meal Prep Time - In today’s fast paced world it’s necessary to plan time to get everything done. Look at your days off as an opportunity to be productive on the food front. Food is just as important, if not more, as the time you put in at the gym, and making sure meals are on point is crucial. Schedule it on your calendar and use your days off to prep your meals in advance. Be prepared no matter what comes at you during the week, you can grab your tupperware and go. You can also use that extra day off to re-evaluate your meal plan all together. What’s working, what’s not? Looking at your nutrients and how your body is being impacted by them is a great way to put your rest day to work to meet your fitness goals.
Mental Check-In - Your mind set also plays a huge role in your results and overall experience as you journey your way to your fitness goals. Ever heard of coaches urging their players to “have their head in the game?” well, if you’re not mentally there it’s not going to yield the results you want. Take rest days as the opportunity to seriously check in with yourself spiritually, emotionally, and truthfully. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you need an accountability partner?
Figure out what you need to do for YOU so you can succeed and feel positive about yourself right now and tomorrow. A balanced schedule with days scheduled off will help you focus on the things that will keep you on track while on your training days.