It’s a funny thing – some people really struggle with the motivation to work out, while others just love the adrenalin rush they get from a workout and just want to keep going day after day after day! These adrenalin junkies don’t actually realise that overtraining can be just as bad for our bodies as not training at all. They don’t realise the importance of rest days. When we exercise, we strain our muscles and it is the process of repairing these strains that makes our muscles stronger. If we don’t give our bodies time to effectively repair and recover – we don’t give ourselves the chance to be the strong, fit and healthy people we are striving to be! So remember that resting to help the body to recover is a crucial element of any exercise regime. Why?
- Injury Prevention – If we continue to do the same things over and over again without a break, we run the risk of injury as our muscles and joints suffer from overuse.
- You need rest to recover – Particularly in resistance exercises (like reformer etc), that burn we feel is the result of little tears in the muscle fibres. As those tears heal, the muscles actually become stronger. If we don’t rest to allow that recovery to take place effectively, we aren’t allowing our muscles to become stronger (totally defeating the process!)
- A day or two off won’t set us back – It takes a couple of weeks to notice any loss in fitness and strength (you may have noticed that when you go away for holidays!) So a day or two is not going to impact our progress or performance.
- Overload the immune system – When we are exercising constantly, we are putting so much pressure on our immune system to keep repairing those muscles and joints. And while the immune system is stressed out dealing with our muscles, it puts us at increased risk of picking up bugs and viruses like the flu – and a bad cold or flu will set you back far more than a day off!
- Mental Fatigue – Being constantly run down eventually makes us feel down. And constantly stressing over when and how we are going to squeeze that extra workout into our already busy lives. Sometimes just taking a day out and giving ourselves a chance to just slow down and take a breath can give us all we need to get fired up to get going again.
Rest days don’t necessarily mean no activity!
Active recovery is also hugely beneficial, and including stretching or light yoga into our routine is ideal. Alternatively go for a walk along the beach, take a stroll through a rainforest, or even take the dog for a walk in the park.
Elite athletes know the value and power of rest days – let’s treat ourselves like elite athletes and take the very best care of our bodies in each and every way.
Do you want to balance your work out days with structured beneficial rest days? Call or email us to find the right class combinations and location for you. Joining the Rebalance Family means more than just a workout. We care about your wellbeing and have a supportive environment. We prioritise your wellbeing and provide a sanctuary for you to come and relax. Workout. But workout with purpose with us!
Written by Kim Horsfall – Toowong Manager