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Are Rest Days Real?Published:
A lot of the world is taking a rest day right now, so we wanted to get the low down on the pros and cons.
Is sitting on the couch really going to help me be my healthiest, strongest self? Or is this just a lie we’ve all bought into because we want to be able to lounge around guilt-free?
Since most of us are opting to stay indoors & practice social distancing (staying in is the new going out), it is the perfect time to give your body a break.
The case for rest days.
Actually, rest days are key for two reasons. The first is physical. Overtraining is no joke. And it leads to serious issues like injury and a too-high heart rate. Plus, it can take up to two days for delayed-onset muscle soreness to show its ugly face. Building in some rest helps you keep tabs on your body so you can avoid getting hurt.
The second pro of rest days is mental. Burnout is real, people. And you’re a whole lot more likely to stick with a workout you actually enjoy. So if you’re hating it or if you’re always sore, take a rest day. Heck, take a couple. A little R&R can help you recharge so you’re ready (and actually want) to jump back in.
How often should I be taking rest days?
It depends. Generally, the experts make a case for one or two days a week. But if you’re starting a new type of workout and you’re a beginner, take a rest day every third day until your body adjusts to the new type of movement. And if you’re a bodybuilder, you may never need a rest day because you only target certain muscle groups on certain days. (Still, though, keep an eye out for signs of burnout.)
Now, let’s be clear. A rest day doesn’t have to mean an all-out Netflix marathon. We’re all about active rest days. You can use your breather to take a long walk, check out an online restorative yoga class (we’ve posted a bunch on our Instagram page), do some stretching — basically, whatever feels right for your body.
Really, it all comes down to being mindful. Are you always sore or stiff? Does the thought of lacing up your sneakers put you in a bad mood? Take a breather, bud. Your workouts will still be there when you get off the couch. And, in fact, now that you’ve taken the time to rest, you can crush them with renewed energy.
Be well & stay safe,