Rest days are something that all of us need to incorporate into our health and fitness routine, but they are often forgotten about. We have all heard the quote, "no pain, no gain," and working hard to reach your health and fitness goals is great. However, we all need a day of rest to let our bodies recover.
Rest Day Defined
A rest day is your day off from training, giving your mind and body the time to repair and restore your muscles. Muscles need a chance to recover, adapt and become stronger, and your nervous system a chance to regenerate.
It's actually during the rest period that the most physical progress is made, and your muscles grow by allowing your body to consolidate all that hard work you’ve been doing. Including appropriate rest in your training program can also help to prevent overtraining or hitting a plateau. So it’s essential that you actually rest on a rest day.
How to Rest on Rest Day
Use your rest days to relax in whatever way works best for you while being mindful not to slip into bad habits. Maintaining health and fitness is still your goal, and you don’t want to undo all your hard work every rest day.
So as counterintuitive as it sounds, stay mildly active on a rest day by participating in active recovery. You can ask your personal trainer for some tips on what to do for your active recovery rest days.
How Often to Schedule a Rest Day
As a personal trainer, this question gets asked a lot, and we always recommend at least one full rest day each week. However, this suggestion will vary depending on the type of workouts you are doing.
The number of rest days your personal trainer will likely recommend each week depends on:
Whether you are doing focused workouts or full-body workouts
How far into your health and fitness journey you are
What your health and fitness goals are
If you are starting out on your health and fitness journey, you want to start slow. For example, you might want to meet with your personal trainer three times a week and then increase your personal training sessions as your body adapts to the new training style.
When you come into SRQ Health and Fitness for your consultation, we will go over your health and fitness goals with you. We will make rest day recommendations based on your goals and where you are in your health and fitness journey.
Starting out can seem scary, but it is part of our job as your personal trainer to tailor a workout program that fits your lifestyle and your goals. It may not always feel easy, but we promise you that one small step in the right direction will positively impact your health and fitness journey.