Hello fitness enthusiasts! This week's blog post will be touching on the importance of the REST DAY. While I constantly stress working hard and through exhaustion during workouts, the REST DAY is equally as important as putting forth the hard work and dedication.
Image courtesy of http://crossfitcasey.com.au/category/rest-day/page/2/
The REST DAY is your secondary step in preventing injuries and illness. Primarily, you rely on proper form during activities and then plain old R&R at least once a week (this heavily varies on both your athletic level and whether or not you are training for a specific event). Your body NEEDS this time to recover from all of the micro-tears that your muscles have accumulated during training days. By not taking a REST DAY you begin to increase your level of exhaustion, both physically and mentally, which can cause injury and a unintentional alteration of proper form. These events eventually begin to reverse whatever positive effects your training was beginning to have. Skipping a REST DAY is a blow to your overall progression as a beginner trainer. Are my not so subliminal messages getting across yet (REST DAY).
It is during the REST DAY that as an athlete your muscles actually do their growing. During this time the body recovers and repairs the damage that has been done to it. This is similar to what your brain does during a proper sleep cycle with all of the data it has procured throughout your waking hours. Those that get a solid six to ten hour sleep cycle retain more of the information that they processed from the previous day. Much like that of those that allow their bodies to recover, recover more fully and gain more strength. Science and the human body are awe-inspiring!
When you over-train, your body tries to compensate in varying ways. As you prolong your REST DAY, your body overcompensates by establishing an ever increasing appetite to get the fuel that it requires to continue to operate at this increased capacity. This means that weight can be gained and not in the form of muscle either! This happens, because your body needs to increase its reserve fuel source and what better way than to store fat. So, if you are trying to lose weight by cutting fat, this series of events can become demoralizing and downright disastrous.
Without REST DAYS your awareness is stunted and you begin to suffer from mental fatigue due to your body trying to continue to chug along like Thomas the Tank Engine (I think I can, I think I can, I think… I want to rest). Your brain is tricked into thinking it is in a hostile environment and it begins to focus more on your body’s physical capabilities for the fight or flight system. After all, we are nothing more than “civilized” animals that can complexly communicate. This can further lead to sleep issues (insomnia) as well as mood wings. So, if you started to work on your physical fitness for the extra mental and physical health benefits and you are actually having worse issues, you may need to take a rest day He-Man / She-Ra.
This brings me to my final point of this post. As you all may well know by now there are numerous health benefits to being physically active, but if you do not use moderation with a workout routine exhaustion can become overwhelming rampant to the point that it is undoing all the good you are accomplishing and makes you more susceptible to illnesses! So, work hard, play hard and most certainly REST… well… no so much hard, but… just REST, okay!
Once again, I hope you not only got some helpful information out of today’s blog post, but enjoyed it as well! If you have anything you would like to add or if you have any questions, leave a comment down below or email me at Joe@dedicatedfit.com. While you are at it check out this week’s blog posts by Logan Lesher, Dakota Strohl, Kylee Turko and Sage Terembula. We look forward to hearing from you and I’ll see you around the gym!