Simple Reasons Why You Need Recovery Days
By now, we should all know that you need recovery days, but do we know the reasons behind needing one? Do we know what happens to the body when you rest? Our latest blog post will sort through the rationale behind resting and what it does for the body.
Rebuild the Muscles
Exercise creates microscopic tears in muscle tissue. During rest days, cells repair and build up the muscle tissue. Recovery is the body’s process for restoring homeostasis.
Fight Muscle Pain and Soreness
The body has a chance to remove excess lactate from the muscles. This helps to alleviate muscle pain and soreness.
When you overtrain the mind and the body tire and lose focus, that can lead to poor decision-making during a workout routine, which increases the risk of injury. When you take regular breaks from training, you ward off mental fatigue. The workouts will always be there, and ultimately you will feel more motivated the next time you hit the gym if you have had proper rest.
Restoring the Body
Glycogen is a form of energy stored in muscles. Exercise depletes glycogen levels, which leads to muscle fatigue. Rest days allow the muscles to replenish their glycogen levels, reducing muscle fatigue and preparing them for their next workout. The lymphatic system gathers waste products from throughout your body so they can be eliminated. Exercise creates many of these waste products, so your lymphatic system kicks into high gear during recovery.
You don’t have to sit on the couch during your rest day…Have an active rest day. Find a low-impact workout to complete. This may include attending a yoga class, walking your dog, or a loop in the park. There are countless opportunities to be active while you are resting. Find something you love to do, and don’t worry about how much you are doing. Just go out and enjoy yourself without any thought about how this impacts your fitness journey.
During your workout sessions, your body will demand rest to be consistent in your journey. When you don’t rest properly, you might feel fatigued, have painful cramps, and ultimately lose motivation to do the last rep of your workout. Therefore, to stay motivated and consistent in your journey, you will have to take proper rest days.
Just in case you don’t know the warning signs to take a rest, here are some tell-tale signs it’s time to take a break.
If you notice any of the following signs, it might be time to take a break:
- Sore muscles. While it’s normal to feel sore after exercise, persistent soreness is a red flag. It means your muscles haven’t recovered from past workouts.
- Fatigue. Pay attention to extreme exhaustion. If you feel spent, let your body rest.
- Pain. Muscle or joint pain that doesn’t go away might indicate an overuse injury.
- Emotional changes. When you’re physically burnt out, hormones like serotonin and cortisol become imbalanced. This can cause changes like irritability, crankiness, and mood swings.
- Sleeping issues. High cortisol and adrenaline levels can make it hard to get quality sleep.
- Reduced performance. If your routine feels difficult or you stop seeing progress, take a rest day.