While it’s easy to believe that more working out always equals more fitness gains, our bodies actually thrive when we allow ourselves time to rest. The key to really meeting your fitness goals is to rethink the idea of resting. Downtime is not a slide backwards. It’s actually the time when our bodies are actually repairing and making the gains we work so hard to build upon when we’re in the gym.
For our wellness feature this week, our AquaVie team has compiled a quick guide to the top 5 reasons to rethink your rest days.
1) Allow Muscles to Rebuild
Incorporating regular rest days into your fitness routine is crucial for an effective fitness plan because it gives your body the time it needs to recover and rebuild. When engaging in strenuous exercise, such as weight training, microscopic damage occurs in your muscle fibers. When you rest, your muscles are able to repair themselves, leading to muscle growth and greater strength. For additional relief, stop by the AquaVie reception to check out a Hyperice gun, proven to loosen up muscles and accelerate your recovery time.
2) Take Time to Refuel Your Body
While maintaining a thoughtful, balanced diet is always important, on rest days it’s extra important to focus on the foods you’re using to fuel your body. As your muscles recover, be sure to incorporate plenty of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs to support the healing process. Your fitness progress depends on your body’s ability to replenish glycogen stores and maintain a steady metabolism. So, while it may be a rest day from the gym, make sure you’re not also taking a rest day from your regular diet plan.
3) Avoid Physical & Mental Burnout
Regular rest days are also a great defense against both physical and mental burnout. In addition to the physical benefits of allowing your muscles time to rebuild, taking a day off is also crucial to building your mental stamina. When you allow balance in your schedule, you are less likely to feel stressed or feel constrained by an overly-demanding exercise regimen. Taking a day off keeps your workout fresh and gives you an opportunity to get excited about returning to your workout.
Another great way to prevent burnout is to treat yourself to dedicated rejuvenation at AquaVie Spa. From Sports Massage to Magnesium Muscle Recovery, our practitioners can target strained or overworked muscles through a combination of massage techniques and a range of therapeutic products. Magnesium is especially great for recovery days because as a natural anti-inflammatory, magnesium can help to reduce swelling within the muscles which contributes to delayed onset muscle soreness.
4) Practice “Active-rest”
Want to take a rest day but don’t want to totally miss out on the benefits of movement? Try practicing “active-rest” by enjoying light activities. At AquaVie, we offer All Levels of Yoga, including Slow Flow Yoga or Poolside Vinyasa, which can incorporate mobility and stability exercises while guiding your breath through a guided meditation for mind to body connection. Or try going for a walk around AquaVie’s rooftop track. These low-impact exercises promote blood circulation, aiding in muscle recovery. Plus, light movement will also help maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness.
5) Prepare for Peak Performance
Rest days play a pivotal role in gearing up for peak physical performance by allowing the body to fully recharge and optimize its capabilities. By reducing fatigue and the potential for injury, rest days help you approach your next workout with heightened energy, focus, and increase overall performance potential. This deliberate balance between intense training and strategic rest forms the foundation for achieving your fitness goals at the highest level.