While it can be hard sometimes to get ourselves into the gym. Or even lace up the trainers to head out for a run. For others when they’re on a run of consistent training or for beginners they may be convinced that taking a rest day is detrimental to what they’re training to achieve. We’re going to help you understand why rest is important.
Rest is important to reduce the risk of injury. Now, this might be the most obvious sentence we’ve ever typed, but let us explain why. Resting reduces overuse. Lifting, running and walking it all adds up. Think of the strain and pressure being placed on your muscles and joints.
Quality of Sleep
It’s even easier to track our quality of sleep currently thanks to the popularity of fitness tracking wearables. We’re able to determine our periods of light and heavy sleep as well as our awake periods. Exercising too much without adequate rest can keep you constantly restless. Normally we can tell this by an increase in our resting heart rate (again tracked via the wearable).
Good sleep and scheduled rest days will help prolong your training and ensure that you’re benefitting 100% from the training that you’re doing.
Rest Helps Your Muscles Grow
With resistance training, you’re tearing muscle fibres that’s where the ache and discomfort come in the days following training. Without adequate rest and recovery, you’re not going to get the full benefit of the training. Mike Mentzer compared the importance of rest days and training as “each set digs a hole in your muscle, in order to grow and build a mountain on the muscle, the body first needs to fill in the hole” (That’s where the rest period comes into play).
Therefore, most training is organised into split sessions. You don’t train biceps every day! (OK maybe some guys do)
Rest isn’t a bad thing, as we hope you now understand why rest is important. Remember you can have an active recovery if you’re someone who must do something. Go for a swim, do some light stretching enjoy a walk with the family. It’s mental recovery just as much as physical.
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