Rest days are when you take a break from your regular workout routine and they’re an important part of that routine – you should take rest days on a regular basis, i.e. every week or so.
They’re important because they help your body a chance to repair and recover and to help prevent injury. Some of the health benefits:
And for me, the most important part, because this is the one that I know we all forget about (especially me):
And as such, here are a few of the mood and behavioral signs you need a rest day:
You should also take a few days off if you experience:
So, in summary, it’s absolutely true that exercise does put a strain on the body AND the mind, and without rest days, the result is exhaustion, both physical (your body doesn’t have any time to repair itself) and mental, which can increase your propensity to make mistakes and to give up exercise altogether. Continually pushing on without a rest day will eventually lead to failure.
Ideas for how to spend a rest day
A great idea would be that, because this helps to remove a potential buildup of lactate in your system, and thus helps prevent cramping and fatigue, to do gentle exercises during your rest day(s) like walking and yoga. Personally, I walk my doggo every day, including during rest days and it’s part of my intentions this year to pick up Yoga (Apple Fitness Plus has got awesome beginner classes). Other ideas that may seem obvious but it’s always good to emphasize them just in case
Lastly, you should speak to a doc when you believe you have sustained an injury during exercise, and most importantly if you see that you’re developing an unhealthy compulsion to exercise (that means you have an uncontrollable need to exercise), because compulsive exercising can be associated to eating disorders, perfectionism and personality disorders such as neuroticism (you’re constantly negative and irritable), OCB and narcissism.
Always be kind and passionate.
Weights, Track, music, PLACEs. Always be kind and passionate.