The Importance of Rest in Fitness
We have always seen the importance of doing the exercise correctly, doing the routines properly, but rarely repair in the correct realization of the breaks. If it is important to train the body and work the muscles, to rest is equally important, as the result of the training is closely linked to the breaks. In addition to good heating, adequate hydration and proper nutrition (check the Nutrition section of my website), it is necessary to rest for the body to recover and assimilate the training sessions well.
We cannot have our muscles in constant tension, in all physical activity it is necessary to give a vacation time to the body to rest. It is a very common mistake in many athletes to schedule the rest only when the body reaches the limit and actually taking a break only when fatigue appears is not a good reference, because it does not always present the lesion at the same time. A too long session may cause joint, tendon, and muscle problems weeks later.
Without proper rest, your body and muscles don’t have the necessary time to rebuild and rejuvenate, which can cause some nasty side effects. If we don’t give our body rest days, the stress will add up. Cortisol levels will become chronically elevated. This causes problems such as fat storage, thyroid trouble, and other hormonal issues
In addition to the physical effects, intense workouts can also tax the nervous system. On a recovery day, the sympathetic nervous system—the ‘fight-or-flight’ response—is decreased and the parasympathetic (calming) nervous system is stimulated. This allows the body to rest and relax, cortisol levels to decrease, muscles to rest and rebuild stronger, and carbohydrate stores to be replenished.
The body improves because the rest helps to grow and recompose the muscles. In fact, after the break the muscles yield much more because they have rested and are fresh in front of a new training.
Sleeping time and rest days to take
For a total recovery of the athlete it is required to sleep at least 8 hours.
Resting not only depends on the hours of sleep but also of having a good mattress, a pillow and a good resting space. The need for rest depends on the intensity and length of the workouts, in addition to the physical form and age of each, but the experts advise minimum Rest one day a week, although for beginners it is recommended to give themselves a rest day in between workouts. Additionally, if you’re completely gassed from training hard, take that as a cue to take a full day.
Nutrition and Hydration on Rest Days
A rest day means you’re giving yourself a day off from training—not a day off from your diet. It’s always important to ensure you’re getting enough macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, keeping you properly hydrated and refueling your body with your protein intake, as sufficient protein and hydration every day gives your muscles the best chance to rebuild as strong as they possibly can after a single workout. What better argument is there for taking a rest day and refueling your body?
Rest Day vs. Recovery Day
If you’re feeling completely wiped from a tough workout, don’t hesitate to kick your heels up and give yourself a day of complete rest day.
“Fully passive rest days are important for replenishing nutrient stores,” Lee reminds us yet again.
But if you’re feeling good, or just a little sore, consider performing “recovery activities” like walking, easy cycling, swimming, or yoga, along with foam rolling the muscles, all of which will boost blood flow to your muscles, enhancing the delivery nutrients that facilitate their repair and growth, and eliminating substances that hinder them.