An athlete’s legs during rehab

The Importance of Rest Days in Training & Fitness

If you’re trying to up your training game, lose weight or build muscle, it’s a common misconception that the more you train, the better you will be. Although practice certainly does make perfect, and putting the hours is essential to success, rest days are just as important as training days. Failing to factor in days for your body to repair can often leave you having to take several days, weeks or even months out of your routine to allow your body to repair. Find out just how important rest days are by reading on…

A woman resting as part of her plantar fasciitis treatment

All too often we give in to the fear of gaining weight or losing pace by taking a few days off. Therefore, it is vital to find a perfect balance between training and resting to allow your body to heal, repair and better itself. You should find a careful balance of alternating your days of intense exercise with rest days. This doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t still be active every day, but a 30-minute walk or lower intensity workout will do your body a great amount of good in the long term.

It is also essential to ensure that you work a range of muscles and don’t simply focus on one area. For this reason, you should factor different sets of muscle groups into your workouts through the week, this will make your body stronger overall and will help to build your stamina.

Focusing on one set of muscles repeatedly without rest often results in an overuse injury. These are one of the most commonly sustained during exercise. This is when the stress of an exercise becomes too much physiologically for the system to deal with, and can lead to joint pain, muscle strains and stress fractures.

The amount of rest your body requires depends on a number of factors, therefore there is no one set rule to follow. Things such as your workout intensity, experience, age and overall fitness will contribute to the amount of recovery time you will need, and the best way to find your own personal recovery time, it’s very much a trial and error process. You need to ensure that your body has enough time to repair, but does not affect the improvements or gains you’ve been making. Speaking to a professional will help you to gauge the time you need to take, but be sure to listen to your body to prevent injuries from occurring.

Sleep is a vital part of the resting process, and having a low quality of sleep for a long period of time can often be detrimental to your training. A lack of quality sleep can stop the hormone that helps your body to repair and rebuild from being produced, therefore negatively impacting your body.

Hydration and food consumption are also essential parts of helping your body to repair. You should feed your body with all the essential proteins, carbs, vitamins and minerals to aid your body in repairing itself effectively.

Without rest, your body will simply not work effectively, and this will make your training more difficult and mean that you see slower results. If you’re finding that you’ve hit somewhat of a brick wall with your exercise regime then not getting a good enough quality, or amount, of rest will likely be a key factor. Be good to your body and give it rest, often, this should help to prevent you from needing IT band treatment, plantar fasciitis pain relief and a wide range of other recovery products to keep you doing what you love without having to take time out for injuries.

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