What Should You Do on Gym Rest Days?
By Sara Butler
Building rest days into your workout schedule is essential to good health and wellness. Skipping rest days is a recipe for injury, which won’t help you to reach your fitness goals. But you don’t want to just sit around on days you’re not at the gym, right? Here are some suggestions to help you stay just active enough to make your rest days count!
Why You Need Rest Days
Rest days are important because they allow your muscles to heal, which ultimately results in added strength. Your body takes the time to restore capillaries, repair cells, and restore glycogen to the muscles – glycogen you’ve depleted during exercise. Plus if you don’t rest, you’re going to plateau and increase your risk of injury.
The Risk of Overtraining
If you are training without adequate recovery, then your body will pay the price. Overtraining occurs when you work the same muscle group over and over, and it causes the stress hormone cortisol to surge, stopping muscle regeneration and potentially causing you issues with your gains.
If you continually have sore muscles, decreased appetite, a high pulse in the morning, high blood pressure, or injuries, then you are probably overtraining and need to give your body a rest.
Plan Your Rest Days
You can stay on track during rest days with a plan. Just make sure you don’t rebound on rest days with a lot of television and unhealthy food choices. Instead, view these days as recovery – not a vacation. Plan a program that supports a healthy body and rest at once. In other words, stick to your healthy eating schedule and work in some flexibility and mobility exercises, such as yoga, to help your body recover. Take time to stretch and feel as if you’re doing something to work towards your goals – just at a less intense level!
You can be active on your rest days, too. Go out and have fun with your dog at the dog park or with the kids at the pool. Take a walk or a hike, go dancing with friends. The world is your oyster – enjoy your rest days and the progress you’ve made!
If you notice you’re having trouble with injuries or plateaus, talk to the chiropractors at The Joint about the possibility you are overtraining. They can help guide you to understand the importance of rest and what it can do for your overall health and wellness.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Magnolia, Tex.