The benefits of exercise are clear, but an important component of getting fit requires rest days.
Fitness experts recommend one rest day every 3-5 days so for the benefit of your health and wellbeing, take time off at some point each week to recover. Your body will thank you if you do, and you won’t run the risk of a serious injury through over-exertion.
People have different needs on their rest days, but for some general guidelines, try to stick to the following.
Do what you can to relieve pain
You will may experience some kind of pain after exercising, especially if you have been hitting it hard at the gym or on your run. You should always do what you can to ease that pain after your workouts. Both immediately after and on your rest days if you’re still experiencing muscle soreness.
If there are any areas of inflammation, you should use an ice pack or knee tape to soothe and ease pain in targeted areas. Taking a warm bath can also offer temporary relief. These are things you might do soon after your workout but do the same on your rest day as well. Your rest day is also a good day to book a massage. Most types of masseurs will offer relief but you might want to look for a specialist in sports-related injuries for better results.
You already know that eating well is essential before and after your exercise routine. However, you might be tempted to have a cheat day on your rest day with foods that are less than good for your body. Everyone should enjoy a little indulgence from time to time. Try and stick to the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the time you stick to a healthy diet and 20% of the time, you enjoy the food you love!
Enjoy some light exercises
A rest day doesn’t have to equate to a day on the sofa. You’re still allowed to exercise, but be careful not to overdo it.
So, you might want to implement a few light cardio exercises into your day, perhaps by going for a light stroll or a bike ride. Or you could play outdoor games with your family in the garden or take part in any other activity that is fun and enjoyable. You might also want to do a few stretching exercises, especially if you have delayed muscle soreness. Starting the day with yoga could be good in this regard, or even a Pilates workout.
Whatever you do, ensure it is a break from the norm. And exercise to have fun rather than doing it to crush your fitness goals.
And finally, get some rest! After all, that’s what rest days are meant to be about. Relax during the day with the things that will calm your mind but if you feel the need to take a nap, then do so. Especially if you tend to get up early to start your exercise routine, you might need to sleep more than normal. So get some shut-eye if you are able to, as it will be beneficial for both your aching body and your tired mind.
So Tell Me…
Do you schedule rest days into your week? How many do you take? What is your favorite way to rest and relax?
Thank you so much for stopping by! As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Have a great week!