{Guest Post} Why Are Rest Days Critical?

This next post for you guys is one that I really need to read and follow! I am so bad at giving my body a chance to recover, even though I know it needs it!  Marissa is always on adventures and sharing her latest outdoor exercises with us at her blog, as well as a lot of tips that I use! I’m sure you enjoy this post, and move on over to her blog to check out more!

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Hi there! I’m Marissa and I blog over at Barefoot Colorado. I’m excited to be chatting with you guys while Heather is away! I’m a very active, outdoor gal who loves to explore, travel and find pleasure in the small things. You can usually find me crossing finish lines, state lines and boundaries. Constantly on the go, it’s hard to make time for rest. Does anyone feel the same? I’ve learned from experience that if I don’t designate rest days, my body feels the consequences. This is why I aim to take 1-2 rest days per week depending on how my body feels.

Listening to your body is probably the number one piece of advice I can give you.

Rest day pic

Tissue repair: When you exercise, your muscles fibers tear. Resting allows for those same fibers to rebuild themselves, allowing for an increase in strength and muscle mass.

Replenishes energy: Getting a good amount of sleep and taking a day off from exercise can help to replenish your body’s energy stores. If you are extremely tired, your mind won’t be clear, your body slow and most likely aren’t going to have a quality workout anyways.

Decreases risk for energy: over training can cause exhaustion, which leads to poor form and ultimately injuries. Taking one day off from your workout is better than having to take weeks off due to a pulled muscles or other exercise-related injury.

Prevents burnout: Constantly working out or doing any activity can cause one to burn out and ultimately resent that activity. Think about taking a break from your routine to recharge your batteries and fall in love all over with exercise once you return.

Makes for a happier athlete: You know the time you usually spend exercising? On your rest day, take that time to enjoy a cup of coffee on the patio, read a good book or spend some time with your loved ones. Rest days give us all a chance to relax and recharge our mental batteries as well as our physical ones. Trust me, even though you want to constantly be go-go-go… it’s always good to take a break.

Like I said, it may be hard to take a rest day when you are constantly on the go, but the benefits of them are extremely important to any exercise regimen. There is no right amount of rest days for everyone, but I do suggest taking at least one day a week off. If I have a hard CrossFit work out and I’m waddling around the next day, I’ll think about taking 2 days off. It really is about listening to your body.

Rest days don’t mean you have to hang out on the couch and veg all day (but you totally can if you want too!). If you still have pent-up energy, think about enjoying some of these light activities:

  • Yoga
  • Taking a walk with family
  • Swimming (casually)
  • Taking a bike ride with your kids

Sleep in a bit longer than usual, enjoy that second cup of coffee, catch up on blog reading, take an epsom salt bath (my fave!!) and simply revel in the fact that your body is an incredible tool that allows you to do the things you love. Treat it nicely. Or you could just hang out on the couch with some watermelon and catch up on blog work… like I’m doing now ;) Stop by Barefoot Colorado sometime to say hello! Catch ya later!

 

Questions for you:

Do you enjoy rest days?
What do you usually do on your days of rest?
 photo 257fe27f-f473-44c9-95ef-2343388e011d_zps56c39fcb.jpg

Comments

  1. I cherish my rest days! I usually take 1 a week, 2 if the baby schedule gets crazy!
    Emma @ a mom runs this town recently posted…Sneaky Baby and WHY?My Profile

  2. Amen to everything you said. This post is awesome, and will be very beneficial to others =).
    Jessie recently posted…It’s my birthday!My Profile

  3. I definitely needed to hear this message. It’s really hard when I have a training plan to take “unplanned” rest days. My plan accounts for rest, but probably not as much as I need.

    I definitely think that a little more rest will actually make me like my runs more than if I run too much. Great advice, Marissa!
    Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections recently posted…Birthday, Beer, Burgers, & Big Chocolate CakeMy Profile

  4. Great post! I get super antsy on rest days though… thankfully I have my yoga mat and foam roller! Rest=stretch :)
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted…Jump! [WIAW 4]My Profile

  5. Totally agree, I actually just wrote about forcing myself to take more “resty” rest days because I was starting to feel the exhaustion pretty hard.
    Ashley recently posted…Froyo Fixes EverythingMy Profile

  6. Great post!
    I struggle mentally with rest days sometimes just because exercise is my favorite stress-relief/mental outlet/time to think, so when I don’t get that I get a little anxious. But, I know that resting is so important for my health, that that reasoning will always override my feeling to always be moving :)
    Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted…a thought to consider…My Profile

  7. Thanks for the awesome info! I never really saw the value in taking rest days until I got injured and ended up with two months of rest days ;) Now I make sure I take at least 1 day off a week.
    Davida @The Healthy Maven recently posted…Fitness Feature: SkyRobicsMy Profile

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