Do you keep a pristine account of daily calories taken in and burned, steps walked, stairs climbed… Good! But let me ask you this, how often do you take stock of amount of time you rested? I asked the same questions to a few people around me and reactions I got were like this –
“Oh, but I have a hectic life, if I can squeeze in 5 hours sleep it’s a blessing!”
“Look I have much to achieve and rest is for the weak!”
“I sleep at night, that is enough resting right?”
Notice that most of the reactions don’t even factor in resting from the working out regime. Most people did not even think about ‘Resting Day’ as a day away from the gym. Just so we are clear, all the people I asked above questions are dedicated gym goers. Unfortunately, in most cases like above, often we do not stress on the importance and need of having a Rest Day officially included in your Workout Plan.
Well, I have got news for you buddy – the Rest Days are not only important but crucial for your real fitness gains and healthy lifestyle. And so we are clear, the Rest Days in this entire article refer to Day Off from the Gym and any workout. If you are not giving your body the much-needed Rest Day in between work out days, you are not building your body, you are wrecking it. SIMPLE.
Here are 3 Top Reasons Rest-Day is important for your workout regime.
1. MUSCLES NEED RESTING, PREVENTION FROM INJURY
When you lift weights and push your limits you are principally tearing the muscle fiber and your body needs time to repair and grow these muscles back into shape and adjusted to new ‘surroundings’ per say. When you do not rest, you may end up what I would call ‘overusing’ your muscle repair threshold and injuring yourself in the process. This is the very reason you train different muscle group on different days so the muscles used earlier in the week can recover from the tear and grow themselves for the next grueling. For optimum muscle growth, as well as preventive measures, you must allow your muscles to rest in between intense workout days.
2. TOO MUCH TRAINING CAN LEAD TO TOO LITTLE SLEEP
When you work out, the alertness and heart rate of your body are at their peak. Your body reacts to surrounding noises more hyperactively than if you were not working out. A good Rest Day aids your body to bring down it’s alertness to healthy levels and gives your heart some relaxing time. This consequently helps you form a healthy sleeping pattern and get a sound sleep. If your body is lacking rest from sleep, it can become counter productive and you can find yourself distracted while exercising and risking greater physical harm than gain.
3. YOU NEED IT FOR MENTAL STRENGTH, AND STRONG IMMUNE
As you work out hard at the gym, so does your brain and heart to keep you focused, psychologically strong and charged. Constant workout without any Rest Day can cause both Physical and Mental fatigue and lead to both physical burnout and mental exhaustion. You end up losing coordinated focus and strength when working out. Also, when your mind and body are not getting sufficient rest, your immune system starts crashing and despite appearing strong and fit your body failed to cope with slightest infection. Your immune system needs time to play catch-up with your growing muscles, changing body and increased need for mental strength. A Rest-Day not only restores your muscles but also gives relaxing time to your brain and immune system can catch up to speed with your growing physical and mental strength needs.
Hence, I recommend picking at least one day during the week and 1 day on the weekend when you are far away from the weights and exercising, allowing your body to just rest, relax and recover. Let’s think of it as a reward for your body, mind and soul for being a hard-working and dedicated team.