Take a Break After Workout: Why Do You Need Rest Days?

When you’re dedicated to getting that six-pack before summer, it’s so easy to say that you’ll work out every day. Even seeing people posting their workout photos makes you think if they’ve already moved to the gym. But did you know that working out for 7 days a week is not healthy? Here is why.

Why Do You Need Rest Days?

The quick answer to this question is that your body, especially your muscles, need to recover from your exercise. The resting period will allow your muscles to repair overworked or damaged muscle tissue so that the next time you work out, you are at your optimal health.

There are two kinds of rest – rest in between sets and rest in between workout days. Although other fitness programs will push you to do a few sets for 15 minutes, you are not supposed to do this.

If anything, feel free to take 30 seconds to 5 minutes of rest if you feel that you are losing your breath or getting out of balance. These short rest periods will allow your body to regain some of its energy after it’s been used up during a set of exercises.

To add to that, this resting period allows you to check your posture in doing exercises. If you don’t take breaks, you might not notice how wrong your posture already is which is counterproductive to your fitness goal.

On the other hand, rest days refer to 1-2 days a week where you don’t do any exercise. Some people prefer to just take 1 day while others have 2 straight days.

This depends on the intensity of your workout. Rest days allow your body to get back on track and to fully recover from 5 days of continuous exercise.

Not taking rest days will just wear out your muscles. When this happens, you won’t immediately see the strength your muscles are gaining.

What You Should Do During Rest Days

A rest day is not limited to not working out for the whole day. Instead, it includes getting a full 9 hours of sleep and a few cheat meals. According to doctors and trainers, getting full 8 hours of sleep will help you recover to your fullest.

During long periods of sleep, your cells start to regenerate and repair other tissues that were damaged. This is why your parents have always reminded you to sleep early.

Apart from that, you are also allowed to take cheat meals. If you’re on a diet, you can take the 1-2 day rest to eat your favorite foods. However, this should always be in moderation.

Eating a few unhealthy foods is not bad, but the moment you consume more than necessary, the worse it will be for your health. Besides, eating too much junk will just offset the exercise you did for 5 days.

So if you are creating your exercise program for the week, don’t forget to add a day or two to rest. Always remember that while it’s okay to push your limits, you should also acknowledge that your body does not have unlimited energy and strength.