You want to grow big and get shredded. Intuitively you think the more you workout, the more you’ll grow so you skip rest days.
❌ WRONG ❌
Rest days are an important part of any exercise program. They give the body a chance to repair, recover, grow and avoid injury. Numerous scientific studies show that rest days play an important role in helping us maintain good health and fitness.
What is a rest day?
A rest day is a day in which a person takes a break from their regular workout routine. That doesn’t mean you remain totally inactive. Low-impact activities like gentle yoga sessions and light walks are great ways to get some movement. Mid-week stretching sessions are good too.
Benefits of rest days
Rest days do the following:
- Alleviate muscle pain and soreness: During rest days, the body removes excess lactate from the muscles. This helps alleviate muscle pain and soreness.
- Repair and build muscles: Exercise creates microscopic tears in muscle tissue. During rest days, cells called fibroblasts repair and build up the muscle tissue.
- Replenish the body’s energy stores: Glycogen is a form of energy stored in muscles. Exercise depletes glycogen, which leads to muscle fatigue. Rest days allow the muscles to replenish their glycogen stores, reducing muscle fatigue and preparing the muscles for the next workout.
- Prevent injury: Overexercising puts repetitive stress on the muscles, increasing the risk of injury.
- Allow the mind to rest: Overexercising can tire the mind and body. This leads to poor decisions during workouts, increasing the risk of injury.