Regular exercise provides a wide range of health benefits, and fitness junkies have been known to exercise every day of the week. In the context of exercise, some people think rest days will cause motivation failure and encourage old habits.
The reality is that rest days are important, and everyone who exercises regularly needs them. In fact, they’re so important that many popular weight training plans include rest days.
It’s true that exercising is very healthy for the body, but rest days are just as important. If you’re questioning the truth to this statement, consider six top reasons why rest days are needed.
Rest for the Muscles
One of the first things that people learn when they start weight lifting is the importance of allowing muscles to rest. When a person lifts weights, they’re creating microscopic tears in their muscles. The body’s immune system is responsible for repairing and growing the torn muscle fibers.
However, if the immune system is not given enough time to perform repairs, the muscles will continue to break down. Rest days are important because they give every muscle group some additional time to repair and grow.
Another top reason to take a rest day from exercise is because it prevents injury. By taking a rest day, it’s easier to avoid exercising too much. It’s important to realize that the body can only take so much abuse, and there will come a time when it needs rest.
When a person exercises too often and doesn’t take a day of rest, their joints, muscles and ligaments become severely strained, which can lead to injuries.
Too Much Training Hurts Sleep Habits
Some fitness junkies have trouble sleeping and can’t figure out why. Training too often and not taking rest days can result in too much exercise.
The end result is the body getting stuck in a perpetual state of restlessness. When the body is in this condition, it can be nearly impossible to get a solid night of sleep. A sign that might indicate too much exercise and not enough rest is a much faster resting heart rate.
Don’t Worry About Losing Performance
Many individuals who exercise regularly believe they’ll lose performance if they take a day of rest. Studies show that it takes up to two weeks of no exercise to start losing fitness performance. One or two days won’t reduce performance level, and in most cases, it will actually increase it.
A rest day can provide several mental benefits. For starters, it can help to rekindle the passion for exercising, and it can also prevent psychological burnout. Since mental fatigue can be just as troublesome as physical fatigue, it’s important to take a few days off to rest.
Avoid Immune System Burnout
When the body is under constant stress from physical exertion, the immune system is forced to work around the clock to repair joints, muscles and ligaments.
Rest days are important because they give the immune system time to take a break, so it’s not forced to work hard every day. These are six top reasons why you need to consider taking a rest day from exercise.