The Importance of Rest Days

Woman partaking in a rest day

Being super motivated to work hard and reach your fitness goals this year is great – after all, how can you achieve results if you aren’t consistent with your training? The risk of this mindset is forgetting to rest and instead, falling into the trap of over-training.

Your rest days are just as important as your training and should be a part of your weekly workout routine. Why? Because if you are consistently doing heavy training every day without giving your muscles a break, you are at risk of overusing your muscles – leading to injuries.

Here are a couple reasons why your rest days are so important:

  1. Prevents injuries

As mentioned, incorporating rest days between your training ensures that you are not overusing your muscles. When training, such as lifting heavy weights, you are actually creating tiny tears in your muscles. These tears can only repair when you are resting. If your goal is to build more muscle and get stronger, don’t go hard every day – give yourself rest days to nurture that muscle strengthening.

Generally, your muscles need at least 48 hours to recover before you begin working on them again. It is the combination of both training and rest that will get you the results you want.

  1. Improves your sleep

A good balance of training and rest allows you to get a good night’s sleep. One sign of overtraining is a disruptive, restless sleep pattern. Overtraining causes your resting heart rate to increase and makes you extremely alert when you’re meant to be sleeping.

If you’re not getting good quality sleep regularly, this will also impact muscle growth and will negatively affect all that effort you put in your training. So, for the sake of your precious sleep and muscles, take a rest from training!

  1. Keeps your immune system in check

If you don’t incorporate rest days into your training program, you run the risk of affecting the health of your immune system and other processes in your body. Leading to injuries and sickness. For women, training to hard without rest can even cause issues with your menstrual cycle.

  1. Maintains good mental state

You always hear people say how exercise improves your mental health, however overtraining can lead to detrimental, negative effects on your mental state including irritability, mood swings, insomnia, depression, etc. Basically, “burnout”. Keep your mental health strong by prioritising days for you to rest and relax and change your mindset to know that you can take breaks and days off your training.