You often hear about the importance of getting a good workout to keep your body in shape, whether it’s stretching, strengthening, or aerobic activity. But equally important is the body’s need for rest following an intense workout. Without rest, your body’s ability to replenish itself is strained.
That’s because your muscles have endured a series of movements that provoke metabolic action throughout your entire system. For example, lactic acid can build up and muscles can be contracted as a result of a good workout. Your body then needs to work itself out in the form of proper rest.
Consequences of No Rest
Not observing proper rest days between workouts can alter your physiology and work against your fitness efforts, such as by weakening your immune system, or affecting your sleep patterns.
Without proper sleep, the body will not perform anywhere near its best – not to mention the dangers of training with weights or exercising outdoors in a tired state. You run the risk of injury if your body hasn’t had a chance to recoup itself from consecutive workouts.
On the other hand, intense workouts can leave the body in a constant state of wakefulness. The way to check this is with your at-rest heart rate. If it is constantly elevated, as it would be during a workout, then some rest is long overdue.
Better Performance With Rest
Any gains you make in your fitness level will remain up until about two weeks, so there’s no need to worry about taking a day or two off from your weekly workout routine.
Taking a day off from the gym is critical to enjoying any gains you make. This is also the reason why people work out targeted groups of muscles on alternate days. Each group can rest and heal before going through another workout.
Rest days from a workout routine properly allow your body to sleep better at night, because the resting state keeps your heart rate level. From a psychological standpoint, resting days also provide balance so you don’t feel a sense of constant pressure to perform – which could lead to burnout and derail all of your exercise efforts in the long run.
Alternative Exercises for Rest Days
In case you’re someone who must be constantly in motion and the idea of a rest day does not appeal, you can pursue an alternative method of exercise like yoga. Doing something completely different helps you not fall into a rut, and your body will thank you for the alternate type of “rest” it gets from your usual workout routine. The benefit of this is greater flexibility for both your mind and body.
Orthopedic Care in Colorado Springs
The team at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence has decades of experience treating world-class athletes, and we can create a workout plan to help you reach your personal best.
Our physical therapists, doctors, and medical professionals aim to help you feel better and prevent overuse injuries. Call us at (719) 623-1050 to make an appointment, or request an appointment online.