Here is Part 2 of Beverly's "Take a Rest" series. Check out Part 1 if you missed it. Enjoy!
The Benefits of Rest
What is the upside of a day or two off? One of the most important benefits of a rest day is that your body is able to adapt to the level of stress it is experiencing. Your muscles grow when you rest. Also, if you are more rested, you will be more focused and able to enjoy your day-to-day life.
Plus, with a rest day in place, you now have an hour or two to do something fun. A day off will leave you with energy to enjoy the other important aspects of life.
On Your Day of Rest
On your rest day do not cross-train. Get a massage, do some light stretching or walking, just to fend off lethargy. Keep your heart rate down and your muscles relaxed.
Needing a Longer Break
If you have answered yes to a few questions listed in Part 1 of the series, you might consider easing up for a couple weeks along with taking a day or two of rest. Easing up means giving only 60 to 70% effort to your workout, using lighter weights and/or exercising for less time.
Do not worry that backing off or taking a day or two off will derail your fitness. According to American Council on Exercise, depending on your level of fitness it takes weeks before your cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength will significantly decline. The energy you gain from a rest will help you meet and maybe even exceed your goals.
What's your favorite way to unwind, relax and restore?
Yours in Health,