The Importance of Rest Days During a Workout Regimen

Why rest days are important when working out.

You’re probably aware of the numerous benefits of exercising to your health and fitness. Unfortunately, it’s easy to focus on your personal fitness training and ignore the importance of rest days. Working out every day without rest is potentially as dangerous as not working out at all. A successful workout regimen should incorporate resting days. Still in doubt? Here are five reasons you should reconsider the importance of rest days.

Rest Days Provide Time for Muscle Recovery

When you sign up for personal training or join a small group training program, it’s common to experience muscle soreness after a workout. Why? Intense workouts cause Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The most likely cause of DOMS is muscle tears. When you suddenly start working out or increase the intensity of your workout regimen, you develop muscle tears, which causes muscle soreness.

However, these tears are relevant to muscle development. When your muscles heal, they generate more tissue, which leads to growth. Setting out time for a post-workout recovery ensures that your muscles have time to heal and give you the results you desire. A functional workout regimen should incorporate 48-72 hours of workout recovery for the specific muscle group targeted during a workout.

Resting Prevents Muscle Fatigue

The primary substance that fuels your workouts is called glycogen. This carbohydrate stored in your muscles provides energy for your muscles during aerobic exercise. Unfortunately, depleting your glycogen reservoirs leads to underperformance during workouts. Without sufficient recovery time, your body cannot recover lost glycogen, which will reduce the strength you need to work out effectively. By scheduling workout rest days and having adequate nutritional support, you’ll generate the energy to fuel your next exercises.

Resting Supports Efficient Sleep

Depriving yourself of adequate sleep to sneak in a small work out session will affect your performance. Not only will you lose your endurance, but also experience hormone imbalances. Your body naturally produces hormones, such as cortisol, that affect your sleeping habits. When you subject your body to physical stress through exercise, your body increases the production of cortisol. Increased cortisol levels stimulate the flight or fight mechanism in your body. As a result, your blood pressure increases, your heart rate rises, and your body releases more glucose.

Usually, your cortisol levels are highest in the morning around 8 and 9 p.m and lowest around between midnight and 4 a.m. Since cortisol increases alertness, the body automatically lowers its production at night to help you sleep. When you work out without rest and increase your cortisol levels, you subject your body to continuous stress, which leads to a lack of sleep. To retain a proper sleeping schedule, you need to rest after your workouts.

Rest Days Reduce the Risk of Injuries

With increased muscle soreness, depleted glycogen levels, and low sleep levels, you’ll have trouble coordinating during workouts. Without the energy to operate heavy machinery or lift heavy weights, you increase the chances of getting injured. If you have difficulty setting off two days of the week without hitting the gym, ask yourself, “What if I drop the weight on my leg?”

Overtraining Syndrome

Overtraining refers to the practice of going for several intense workouts without creating proper time for resting. There are several reasons why you can become an “overtrainer.” Depression, apathy, reduced self-esteem, or emotional sensitivity are all triggers for overtraining. Your body requires significant rests before adjusting to more intense workouts, overtraining works against your overall health and fitness. You’re likely to experience extreme muscle soreness, disturbed sleeping patterns, decreased performance, lower immunity, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Resting ensures that you prevent overtraining and enjoy the results of your personal fitness training.

What Should Your Rest Days Look Like?

A rest day is not a “sit on the sofa” day. You need to stay active during your rest to keep your blood flowing and flush out metabolic waste that accumulates after a hard workout. So, what’s the importance of rest days? To let your body recover without being lazy. Here’s an example to help you understand. If you’re a heavy lifter, you mostly have weight lifting sessions more than core and yoga exercises. You can opt for small sets of body exercises such as lunges, squats, and push-ups to exercise your muscles without overtraining them.

What Are the Types of Recovery?

  • Short-term recovery: This is an immediate form of recovery that occurs when you perform low-intensity workouts or cooling off stretches after an intense workout.
  • Long-term recovery: These are long recovery periods blocked off for relaxation. Depending on the intensity of your workout, long-term recovery can be two days or a week.

Working Out in Dunedin with Generation Fit

Are you ready to achieve your workout goals? You can go for one on one personal training, or register for small group training at Generation Fit. Whichever your choice, remember that hiring a trainer will help you safely meet your personal fitness goals. With Generation Fit, you can find the right trainer to help you achieve your personal fitness goals. To find out more about the importance of rest days, contact us today and schedule a personal training session.