Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Research also suggests that exercise may reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
But what about the downsides?
In addition to its potential benefits, regular exercise has some risks. Overtraining syndrome (OTS) happens when your body becomes exhausted from overdoing it at the gym or on the field. In comparison, burnout syndrome (BOS) is characterized by a loss of motivation after sustained periods of intense training.
Also, overuse injuries such as tendonitis or stress fractures develop when joints aren't given enough time to rest between workouts. All three conditions can cause severe and sometimes permanent damage if not treated properly.
If you are wondering why rest days are important for good health, this article highlights the issues related to regular workouts and how rest days can improve your performance.
You need to take a rest day now, but how will you know that?
How can you tell you need to take a rest day?
The following signs indicate that your body needs to take a rest day.
If you feel:
- Tired, lethargic and lack energy.
- Sore or tight muscles.
- Cramping or pain.
- Sick, dizzy or nauseous.
If these symptoms are present, it's time for a rest day!
Let's explore everything about rest days, from their benefits to how many you should take to maximize recovery.
10 benefits of rest days
Following are the the 10 most effective benefits of the res days.
1. Restore your energy
Rest is one of the most important factors in training. It's when your body can recover from fatigue, illness and injury.
In addition, rest helps you to restore energy levels and gives you more motivation for future workouts.
2. Improve the muscle development
Your muscles are constantly under stress when you exercise. This is especially true for those who train hard and push their bodies to the limit. Rest days allow your muscles to repair and build muscle tissue, making them stronger and better prepared for future workouts.
It increases blood flow to injured tissues, reducing pain and swelling. It promotes healing and prevents further damage. You should take some time off from weight training if you are injured or strained.
To fully recover from your workout, you need to allow time for muscle recovery. Muscle recovery is repairing damaged muscle fibres and rebuilding them back stronger.
If you get enough rest between workouts, your body will recover faster than if you don't get enough rest between exercises. However, suppose you don't get enough sleep at night. In that case, it may impair the speed of your muscle recovery because sleep is crucial for the proper function of the immune system, which helps repair damaged cells in our body, including muscles.
3. Help to prevent injuries.
Rest days are essential for preventing OTS. This occurs when you train too much, too hard, or without adequate rest.
OTS can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Decreased performance and energy levels
- Soreness in bones, muscles, joints and tendons
Rest days help prevent muscle soreness by allowing your body to recover from the effects of exercise-related microtrauma. Also, help to recover from slight damage to muscle fibres that occurs during exercise. It allows your body to repair these damaged muscles before working them again.
4. Supports a healthy immune system.
Rest days are important for many reasons, but one of their main benefits is allowing your body to heal and recover. When you overwork your body, the immune system begins to break down and be less effective at fighting off illness. This can lead to an increased risk of injury or disease if you continue working out without giving your body time to rest.
A good rule of thumb is that any exercise routine should include one full day off per week. If you're worried about losing muscle mass during this time, try alternating between upper-body strength training and lower-body strength training.
This is how you'll still work out every major muscle group throughout the week without overtaxing yourself!
5. Improve sleep quality
It is important to get enough sleep because it helps you stay healthy, improves your mood and memory, and enables you to maintain weight. The body needs time to recover from a workout. Extra rest on rest days may help increase sleep quality, leading to improved mental health.
6. Promote optimal performance
Resting is important because it gives your body a chance to restore energy, reduce stress and improve sleep quality. It also helps improve concentration, motivation and productivity, which are all key ingredients for optimal performance.
Without rest, you will have difficulty recovering from training or competition, making it difficult to perform at your best when needed!
7. Reduces overtraining syndrome (OTS)
OTS is a serious condition that can affect your health and quality of life. It occurs when you train too much, don't get enough rest, or do both.
OTS is caused by excessive training, lack of rest and poor nutrition. You may be at risk if you regularly train at a high intensity for long periods.
Other risk factors include:
- Training intensely more than seven days per week without taking adequate rest days in between workouts
- Stretching poorly before exercise session
8. Improve concentration
Your body is an instrument, and your performance will suffer if you don't rest it properly. When you take regular rest days from exercise, you give yourself the chance to focus on other aspects of your life. It helps you to be more productive at work. You might even find that taking time off from exercise gives you a greater appreciation for what it can do for your body and mind!
It can also help people get out of their usual routines. This can allow them to enjoy a wider range of activities by giving them more opportunities to try something new or different every once in a while.
You may want to find time for other activities you enjoy. You could also do things you haven't had time for lately.
9. Use active recovery
- Active recovery is a form of exercise performed after an intense workout to help the body recover.
- It includes walking, cycling, swimming, or any other activity you enjoy. It also helps to keep your heart rate up but doesn't make you feel tired or sore the following day.
- Remember that active recovery is not meant to replace rest days; it's meant to be done alongside them!
10 Reset psychologically
In addition to exhausting your body, physical exertion can also exhaust your brain since pushing through a tough workout requires mental toughness and stamina. Further to providing your mind with a mental break from exercise, taking a day away from your usual training environment will allow your muscles to recover.
A rest day can help to:
- Recover from stress
- Get a fresh start
- Reset your motivation and perspective
- Feel better about yourself, feel more positive and improve your mood
Exercise can sometimes be more effective if you don't overdo it. In contrast, continuous exercise boosts mental health, while, in some people, it causes injuries and stress due to overtraining.
If you want to fulfil your expected goals, it is only possible when you have a well-designed fitness schedule. Not only will a rest day help you recover better, but it will also reduce the risk of overtraining and injury.
If you're still unsure whether you should take a break from your training routine, consult a health professional who can help determine what's best for your body!
For more information, please to the FAQs session.
What are the ten benefits of exercise?
- Improve the muscle development
- Help to prevent injuries
- It supports a healthy immune system
- Improve sleep quality
- Promote optimal performance
- Improve concentration
Is one rest day a week enough?
Yes, one rest day a week is enough. Rest days are important for recovery and performance.
Why is a rest day important in exercise?
When you exercise, your body experiences wear and tear. That is why giving your muscles time to recover from intense workouts is essential. During rest days, your body repairs itself and rebuilds stronger than before.