Rest & Restore: The Break Your Body Needs
Rest and recovery days are absolutely crucial for anyone who is training or working out regularly. You may feel it is counter-productive, but recovery days are a huge part of continued progress. While you may feel frustrated slowing down on your everyday routine, time off from your regimen allows your body and mind to rest, restore and improve. If you're really itching to sweat, try a sauna session instead—it’s great for active recovery and assists the whole process.
Exhaustion from day-to-day activities are comparable to exercise fatigue—more stress, less muscle power, and general irritability and unhappiness. All signs of some level of Adrenal fatigue. Never taking a day off to rest and restore can cause the body to shut down. According to Shape.com, one may experience severe muscle soreness, a suppressed immune system, improper sleep, food cravings, a decrease in strength and performance, which lead to a potentially injury—setting you back for weeks or even months. It's also important to let your mind rest too, so you can unwind and prepare to get pumped up again for your next workout.
According to Shape Magazine, if you are starting out with a new exercise program or are a beginner exerciser, rest every third day (that is, exercise two consecutive days and rest the third), and after 2-3 weeks you can increase exercise frequency. Those who are intermediate-advanced exercisers only need to take a rest day once a week. If you're doing high intensity workouts everyday, you should take one full day off and be more or less inactive for recovery time.
Otherwise, if your moderately exercising, your rest day might include low intensity activity, like walking outdoors or a meditative yoga class. However, regardless of your rest day agenda, you must clear your head and give yourself a break from thinking about your personal reps and goals.
Your body and mind will thank you later.