Why Rest Days are So Important
When you’re an athlete, or simply passionate about living a healthy and active lifestyle, it’s not uncommon to push yourself for back to back days. In fact, for most athletes and active individuals, this is common. Some routines might even count for practice or workouts more than once a day, with different muscles or activities scheduled at separate times of the day.
Even though scheduling separate focus points for a day is the smartest way to go about this type of exercise, one of the best things that you can do to keep your body in a healthy, functioning state is take a rest day.
Take a Break
The moment that you set a goal for yourself, it can be hard to ever give yourself a break. Any time that is not spent improving yourself feels like steps backwards, which can make the process of achieving a goal all the more frustrating. While this may be how it feels, the truth is that taking a break from a challenging routine or a strict workout schedule can actually provide your body with the boost that it needs to achieve those goals.
At Healthy Body Inc., we know that achieving your healthy living and fitness goals comes down to more than just supplements. Hard work and education are a major part in your ability to overcome obstacles and confidently achieve your goals. Today we are going to cover a few of the reasons that taking a rest day is something that all individuals living an active life should be doing.
Decrease Chances of Injury
For most active individuals, the worst thing that can happen in a career, or even in a lifetime, is an injury. While some injuries may simply require a few weeks of rest, others could cause you pain and discomfort for the rest of your life. Even the smallest of injuries are a setback, while more serious injuries could require you to change your lifestyle or walk away from the sport, exercise or goal that you’ve been working hard with.
Rest days are one of the best ways that you can minimize the chances of an injury happening. The reason behind this is fairly simple and straightforward. When you workout, whether it be cardio, weight lifting or something as simple as walking, you are pushing your muscles and joints to a new level. This push is what allows for us to improve. To lift more, run further and get stronger. However, if we don’t give our body the time that it needs to heal, then it goes into a state of overuse. When this happens, it can give out and lead to a serious injury.
One of the most common areas that we see this issue is in weightlifting. As you lift weights, your muscles tear a little bit, giving them the room that they need to grow and strengthen. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact it’s actually normal. When this happens, though, your muscles need time to rest and heal before they go through the process again. This is why working the same body part or doing the same exercises time after time can actually lead to a decrease in results, and a higher chance of injury. At times these injuries are so bad that the muscle, or even a ligament, can tear and require a pretty intensive surgery, which is an even larger setback.
Rather than pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion and failure, do your best to take some time and give your body the time it needs to heal.
A Sleep Schedule That’s Off
Have you ever been so on schedule that even the slightest thing that is off your routine can throw your entire focus off? Well, this is how your sleep can work too. In fact, pushing your body too hard, while it may be a fitness routine that you’re completing, can actually throw your body’s sleep schedule off.
The reason behind this is actually pretty interesting to wrap your head around. By constantly having your body in an active state, your mind slowly starts to shift towards that mentality as well. In doing so, you are constantly at an increased state of alertness and activity. This could mean anything from being more aware of your surroundings to the point where falling asleep becomes difficult, to an active train of thought that you can’t turn off, making it difficult to fall asleep. When this does happen, your body follows suit, thus raising your resting heart rate.
If your sleep schedule has been all over the place, you might want to consider taking a rest day. Maybe even a couple. A good night of rest can provide your brain with the time it needs to reset and get back onto it’s schedule. Aside from that, having the right amount of rest gives you the motivation and energy that you need to perform your best in your choice of activity. When sleep is no longer a priority, or you’re struggling to make the most of it, take a day off and prioritize your rest.
A little tip, if this is an issue, to keep yourself informed on the issue: try a sleep tracker. There are a few different options that you have, but being able to physically see how your sleep schedule is working can give you a good idea on what changes you should be looking into.
If you think that a constant state of pushing yourself is what it takes to achieve your goals, then something that you have yet to experience is the decrease in motivation that hits when you finally burn out. Prior we mentioned what can happen when you push your body too hard, and how doing so can lead to a state of overworking. Now we are going to talk about a mental state of overworking.
When we get into a routine of completing something everyday, it becomes a habit. While this is the case for certain tasks that we pick up, the truth is that we often get bored with things that do not become habits, and walk away from them before we ever let them develop or see the results that we’re hoping for.
Two of the most commonly walked away from routines are actually diet and exercise. Without taking the time to rest and find some sort of balance, our minds become exhausted just thinking about the routine that needs to be completed at the gym or the practice that’s schedule for later. All of it can become so exhausting that simply packing or waking up to get a workout in can become exhausting, before you’ve even had to do any physical work.
In order to keep yourself motivated and excited about the adventure that you’re on, you need to give your body and mind balance so that it has that time to get in the other things that it needs. Listen to music, read a book, spend quality time with the people who mean the most to you, but whatever you do, do something that will rest your brain from the intensity that becomes natural while working out.
Increased Chance of Illness
The last reason that we are going to talk about today is the general health of your immune system. Your immune system is a tricky, but all too necessary, part of your body. The functionality of your body is going to be based off of how well your organs are functioning.
Overworking your body can put your body in a state of overuse, increase the chances of an injury and leave your muscles, joints and tendons feeling weak and achey, but it can also work your immune system down to the point of compromising it. When this happens, you increase the chances of getting ill. This is again, not something that necessarily has to become a setback, but at times this illness can last longer than you’d like and leave you out of the game for weeks.
When this happens so much more than your ability to workout are compromised. Your diet can fall behind, your sleep schedule is out of whack, and the motivation that you’ve built up to this point is so much easier to lose. Keep your immune system at the top of your priority list and add the necessary supplements and rest to keep it in a great condition.
Don’t let a little bit of time off to rest make you feel like you won’t achieve your goal. If it makes any difference, studies show that it takes 2 weeks time to really start noticing a change in the opposite direction. As long as you prioritize the well being of your body, chances are you shouldn’t be needing that much time anyhow.
When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, you need to make sure that you have the right vision, resources and tools. That means that you need the highest quality of supplements, to provide you with the highest quality of lifestyle. Healthy Life Inc. has created a line of various supplements that we feel confident with our customers. Browse our selection and find the missing piece to the routine that you’ve been focusing on.