All that hard work at the gym really pays off! But your actions on rest days matter too. Of course you’re not going to lie in bed eating bonbons, but really, what should you do on your rest days from the gym?
Rest Days Are Important to Your Program
During rest days, your body repairs muscle and other fibers, adding to strength. Your body repairs cells, restores capillaries, and returns glycogen to depleted muscles. All this work requires a rest period. Without rest, you will not gain, but plateau, and you increase the risk of injury.
Overtraining Means Less Results at the Gym
If you are training more than your body can recover, you are overtraining.
Localized overtraining happens when you overtrain the same muscle group. That’s why lifters usually focus on a particular set of muscle groups one day, a different one the next. Systematic overtraining is less common but much harder on the body. It causes cortisol, the stress hormone, to surge, speeding protein breakdown and stopping muscle regeneration.
If you have continually sore muscles, injuries, decreased appetite, high blood pressure, or a rapid morning pulse, you may be overtraining.
Plan Your Rest Days So You Don’t Cheat
There’s no shame in taking rest days—they are crucial to your health and your program. Don’t rebound on rest days with unhealthy food choices and loads of TV. Instead, think of these as recovery days, not days off. Plan a program that will encourage you to respect your heath and help your body recover from training.
Work on a Quieter Program During Rest Days
Do a little something every day: flexibility, mobility, nutrition, etc.
It feels great to work on mobility and flexibility on off days, stretching out those sore muscles. Warm up exercises, stretches, and yoga are great activities on your rest days. This also reminds us we’re restoring, not slacking off. Cook yourself a healthy meal too and prep meals for the next 2 days.
Have Fun on Days Off from the Gym with Activities (active is the key word)
Easy, fun exercise is a great rest-day activity. Get out there and play softball or soccer, ride a bike with the kids, go jogging, or take a walk in the park. Swimming, rock climbing, and dancing are great. Whatever you do, make it something that’s fun for you—and if it’s social, even better.
Call King Chiropractic When Needed
Sometimes we overdo our program despite our best intentions. If you find yourself at a plateau or injured, call King Chiropractic at (910) 777-7228 for fast relief. We can help find the cause of your problem and quickly get you back on the road to recovery.
See Related: Speed Your Workout Recovery with These Tips