Whether you are deep into your fitness routine or just starting out, off-days are an essential part of your routine. They play an integral part of the muscle recovery and muscle building process. When you skip a rest day your body is unable to repair muscle tissue and decrease inflammation build up. Although it can feel as though you are promoting laziness, a rest day should not be lazy. Here are 4 key ways to rest like a fitness guru.
1.You should still train. A common misconception of “off-days” are that you should do absolutely nothing and lay on the couch binge watching your favorite shows. Wrong. It is actually better to do a light workout. By light we mean SUPER light. Most athletes will do a 30-minute cardio workout of walking or light jogging. To know how hard to push yourself, you should be able to hold a full conversation throughout the entire workout and not be out of breath. The reason why you should still workout is because a completely sedentary day can compromise circulation and promote stiff and sore muscles.
2. Take the day to get yourself motivated. Stay motivated by planning out the week ahead. Rest days are the perfect time to meal prep, plan what you want to focus on, and evaluate the prior week. While in a strict fitness routine it is easy to train week by week without fully recognizing how you are feeling and how your body is developing. Use this time to figure out what is working and what needs to change.
3. Stretch and Foam Roll. After an exhaustive week of training it is always good to take time to stretch it out and take care of your muscles. Invest in a quality foam roller and use it regularly. It can be boring to stretch, but practice the habit while you watch TV or catch up on calls with friends. You will be amazed by how good your body feels and how much farther you are able to push yourself.
4. Rest Day doesn’t mean Cheat Day. One major problem people face with off-days is that they treat it like a cheat day. Meaning, they eat crazy, party, or just lay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. A rest day should never be thought of as a free pass to get away with unhealthy habits. If you are truly committed everyday should be focused on your goals. This doesn’t mean not to have fun or relax, it just means to stay conscious of what could set you back in your progress.
April 24, 2019