Importance of Rest Days:-
Whether you are a runner, a swimmer, a figure skater or simply crazy about losing pounds, reassess your workout regimen and see if you might be overdoing it. Today’s materialistic society has eliminated the idea of having a natural human body. The thoughts of the “six pack abs” and “size 00” have taken over the world. Which in reality is a wrong target to aim at. And people are working and pushing their body harder than what is needed. The aim should be to lead a healthy and hollistic life through exercising, good diet and a winning attitude. And that can only happen if your body is in the best condition to do so.
Have you had one of those days when you wake one morning and you have to “peel” yourself off the bed because your muscles are so sore? I know I have. That’s your body telling you that you need to get some rest. Rest days are super important because it is then when the body adapts to the stress from the new exercises and the effect from your workout takes place. Your workouts cause muscle tissue breakdown and during the recovery period is when your body repairs the damaged tissues as well as replenish the energy lost during the exercising.
So here are few things you could do to take a break:
Sleep it off: “8 hours of sleep is luxury”. I have heard many people tell me that. That includes me. Only if they knew the importance of sleep. Due to the hectic lifestyle we all lead, 8 hours of sleep has become a rare concept. But again not getting enough sleep is the number one cause of not only muscle fatigue, but mental stress as well. Try to follow a strict schedule atleast over the weekdays. Eat a couple hours before bed time, say around 8, and try to hit the bed by 10. If possible, have some chamomile tea to calm your mind down and listen to some soothing meditation music. This will give your body get quality 8 hours of sleep, and you will wake up feeling fresh and energetic at 6 AM. This will also give you some extra time during the morning, before you head out for work.
Schedule Rest Days: My philosophy is to workout hard for couple days, and then take it easy the third day. That puts me at an average of working out 4 times a week which in my opinion is a perfect number. I keep my workouts between 40 to 60 minutes long.
Active Rest Days: On the rest of the 3 days, I spend my time with my friends and loved ones. I also make it a point to sometimes “actively” spend my rest days doing other recreational activities such as yoga (vinyasa flow) or going for a walk or a slight run on the days when the weather calls my name. Staying active on your rest days will keep you feeling energetic, and will prevent lethargy from settling in.
I’d love to hear some of your ideas. Relaxation is important to sustain your ambitions.
Hope this helps. I will be writing about “diet for muscle recovery” in a future blog. Till then stay healthy and happy, and love your body!