Many people have a set workout schedule that they strictly adhere to. If you’re trying to add lean mass or lose weight, it requires commitment and hard work to accomplish your goal. Weight won’t fall off your bones and fat won’t convert to muscle if you’re not willing to sweat a bit.
That being said, our bodies always need time to recover, regardless of the type or intensity of workout that you participate in. Many people get caught up in step count, active minutes, calories burned, or other interesting pieces of data about their workout.
The problem with obsessing over this type of data is that it can easily distract us from the reality that our bodies desperately need a break in order to make our workouts that much more effective. Fortunately, there is also a use for this type of technology to help us keep track of down days and track sleep cycles, among other things.
For athletes of all levels, rest is extremely important when it comes to staying healthy and getting the body prepared to operate at its’ peak level. If you’re still not convinced about the need for rest days, here are a few important points that will change your mind:
Rest Helps Prevent Injuries
Most people realize that rest is beneficial when it comes to keeping your body and mind healthy. Taking rest days will help you to avoid overusing your muscles, which can make them more vulnerable to injury. If you push your workouts too hard without a break, both muscles and joints will suffer.
Muscles Require Rest
Most strength trainers will teach this important concept from Day One. If your workouts revolve around lifting heave Olympic weights, you have to know what those exercises do to your muscles. Essentially, you’re tearing muscle fibers with the goal of having those muscles grow back even stronger.
However, this process is only possible if you commit to taking rest days that allow your immune system to repair and grow the muscle fibers you’ve damaged. Varying the different muscle groups you engage on staggered days can help you give your muscles the rest they need.
A Dip in Performance Isn’t a Concern
You might be concerned about taking rest days because you’re struggling to optimize your performance for an upcoming event, race, or game. Generally, your body won’t start losing any noticeable amount of progress or experience a dip in performance levels until you eclipse two weeks of non-activity.
Over-Training Can Affect Sleep Habits
Are you struggling to sleep regularly at night? If so, you might be guilty of over-training. Over-exercising can put your body into a constant state of restlessness, which can prevent you from dropping into deep, restful sleep when you do lie down.
Rest Gives You A Mental Edge
If you’re exercising everyday for 2-3 hours a day, it can be easy to burn out over time. Psychologically, taking rest days are essential because they can rekindle your desire to commit to your workout program, and they can help you to prevent burnout. When it comes to maintaining your workout program, mental fatigue can be just as detrimental as physical fatigue over time.