Let's talk about rest days.
I hear all too often how hard it is for people to take a rest day. How guilty they feel for not being at the gym. Or how they are going to gain weight or lose their gains from having a day off. Also commonly promoted by hashtags such #nodaysoff or seeing your favourite fitness icon posting 7 days a week gym selfies.
But here's the thing....
Rest or recovery days are essential for our body to repair and adapt to the stress of exercise.
Depending on the type of training your doing, particularly if it's strength training your performance will be hindered if you don't take adequate recovery. Incorporating adequate recovery into any training program is essential for the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissue.
Whether it be weight training, sprint training, or interval training maximising your recovery process is so important. Taking adequate cool down time after a session will speed up lactate removal from the blood.
Taking active recovery days consisting of light to moderate cardio at around 30-60% of maximal effort will decrease blood lactic acid significantly faster than full rest days or passive rest days.
Recovery can also be facilitated by stretching and massage.
So next time your feel sore or tired and you've been at it solid for weeks, 6 days a week, just take that day off lifting and do something else thats good for the soul, good for the mind and good for the body.
Whatever your goals are the training methods you adopt now need to be fun, you need to enjoy them and they need to be sustainable long term. Killing yourself at the gym 6-7 days a week is a sure way for you to run yourself into the ground and actually see the opposite of what you set out to achieve.
So remember the best training program has adequate rest days incorporated into it. Rest days don't mean be lazy, but rather facilitate muscle repair and recovery. Light to moderate cardio, stretching and massage.
And finally, sleep, proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits are essential for recovery.
Ella Martyn is a Specialist in Online Female Fitness Coaching, focusing on a balanced approach to health and fitness.
Ella can help you take back the control over your diet, your happiness and your results. With a personalised approach to TRAINING and NUTRITION,
Ella can ensure the right balance of training, diet and lifestyle to optimise your success for the long term.
Simply drop Ella an EMAIL today to find out how you can get started on your health and fitness journey for the last time!