While this meme is meant to be funny, some people (who consistently workout) have a difficult time taking a rest day. It is true that exercise is addicting. Not only does it release endorphins which make you feel awesome, but the results you see/feel from exercise can lead you to want to do it ALL THE TIME! Now don’t get me wrong, as a coach, I LOVE to hear how much my members enjoy working out. I love seeing them every day, watching them get stronger, improve their performance, and transform their bodies. BUT I make sure to tell every member how important it is that they are getting proper REST/RECOVERY and here’s why:
Did you know that exercise actually breaks down your muscles?
- During exercise, muscle fibers are actually “torn”. Because of this our bodies need a time of rest after a workout to rebuild those muscle fibers.
Did you know that your muscles get stronger when you rest/recover?
- Exercise is the first step of muscle adaptation. In order to build a stronger/bigger/more powerful muscle, we must first break it down (exercise). After the muscle is broken down our bodies then build that muscle back up during a process call protein synthesis. This happens several hours after exercise (normally while we are sleeping), when the body is at rest.
Did you know rest/recovery time is when you rehydrate your body?
- When you exercise, you sweat. When you sweat, you are losing body fluids. Duh. That loss of body fluids leaves you dehydrated. In order to get the body back to equilibrium we must ingest forms of hydration to replenish the loss of fluids.
Did you know rest/recovery is needed to restore energy in the body?
- Our bodies need energy to move, function, stay alive. We store a lot of our energy in a form called “glycogen” and one of the main places we store this glycogen is in our muscles. So what do you think happens when you exercise? You guessed it! You use up all the stored energy. In order to replenish those energy storages, we must REST! Eat nutritious foods, allow them to digest, and take time to get those glycogen storages back to where they should be.
Did you know rest/recovery leads to balanced hormone levels?
- Exercise results in the release those “awesome” feeling hormones known as endorphins. Exercise also causes the release of other hormones, and if we do not rest adequately then these hormone levels will not be able to balance back out. Rest allows the glands that release these Oh So Important hormones to rest/recover. If they don’t get that rest, then like any other tissue/muscle, they become fatigued and don’t work properly. This can result in you feeling fatigued and sluggish
Did you know that rest/recovery decreases your chances of injury?
- From all the information listed above, you can probably devise that if you do not rest; your muscles won’t recover, you’ll stay dehydrated, you’ll have no energy, and your hormones will be off. All of those issues can lead to injuries. Which in turn, keeps you out of the gym even LONGER!
Did you know, your body knows what’s best for itself?
- If you’re one of my members, then you’ve probably heard me say roughly a thousand times that you need to “listen to your body”. Your body is a crazy intelligent machine. It knows what it needs, and you better believe it will tell you. You just need to listen. If you are super sore days after a workout, you probably need a rest day. If you are sluggish and have no energy in the gym, you probably need a rest day. If your muscles feel weak or your heart jumps up faster than normal with only a little work, you probably need a rest day.
- Rest days do not always mean to sit on your butt all day and not move. Rest days can mean going to a light walk, or heading to the lake to do some swimming or kayaking. Rest days can mean taking a relaxing yoga class or spending 20-30 minutes stretching/mobilizing. Rest days can also mean sitting on your couch with a healthy home cooked meal (or Halo Top Ice Cream J) enjoying a movie with your family.
- Listen to your body, treat it well, give it the rest it needs to recover, and I guarantee you that your body will thank you for it!
Have a beautiful weekend Revivers!