Rest days are often thought of as less important than training days, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You know that in order to burn excess fat, you need to expend energy. If your goal is to tone-up or get stronger, you must lift weights regularly. Training days are essential to progressing towards your fitness goal, but none of it will matter if you don’t take the time to rest and recover.
The Importance of Rest Days
Taking a rest day doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sit there and do nothing. All it means is that you need to take it easier than you would if it were a training day. For instance, running long distances can take a toll on your body. If you were to run every day, you would become much more susceptible to exhaustion and injury. Recovery days are all about letting your body heal from a strength training program.
While weight lifting is less taxing on the joints than running, it places more stress on your muscles. In order to become stronger and more toned, you must place your muscles under tension2, regularly. This process produces thousands of small tears in the muscle. Recovery days are essential to growth. During your rest day, all of these little tears are healed, leaving you with stronger, more toned, muscles.
How to Make the Most of Your Day Off
If you absolutely feel that you must perform some kind of exercise on your recovery day, make sure that it is as low-impact as possible. Some great examples of low-impact exercise are swimming, bike riding, or yoga. These less intense forms of training will still allow your body to recover from the day before.
Meal-Prep for Success
Use your rest day to prepare your breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next few days. Meal-prepping has been proven to assist in the weight management and weight loss process.
It’s important for you to realize that eating healthy is another vital part of your weight loss and fitness journey. Your diet should primarily consist of nutritious foods. Avoiding sugary, processed foods will not only make you look better but feel better, as well!
Plan Your Workouts
Another way to make the most out of your rest day is to plan your workouts for the week ahead. Planning your workout routine ahead of time will help you save time in the gym and reach your goals faster. Having a pre-planned routine like Strong4Me can help you stay motivated and keeps you from skipping workouts. No matter how busy you get, your health should always be a top priority.
Treat your workouts as an appointment with yourself, and you’ll find that you stick to the plan much more often.
Rest Up and Get Back to Work
Rest days can feel like a waste once you get used to working out regularly. However understanding that they are just as important as your training days, will make the process go so much smoother. Embrace your downtime so that you can get back to work, tomorrow!