Some people mistakenly believe that more is always better.
But, when it comes to exercise, that is simply not the case.
Whether you are training for a marathon, or just to maintain good health, it is important to take a rest day.
For exercise to have the greatest effect and create the changes you want, the type of exercise and the level of intensity should vary on a regular basis.
Exercise creates two types of stresses on your muscles.
- Metabolic stress that comes from depleting the energy stored in individual muscle cells.
- Mechanical stress created by physical damage to the structures of muscle proteins.
It’s during the recovery period after exercise that the body repairs the muscle proteins and replaces the glycogen used to fuel the workout.
Therefore, your body needs sufficient time to repair and refuel, especially between challenging workouts.
Here are 3 reasons to take a rest day.
1. Replace Energy Stores
Moderate- to high-intensity exercise can rely on the glycolysis energy pathway, which uses carbohydrates to fuel muscle activity.
Feeling sluggish or drained at the end of a workout could mean your glycogen levels are depleted.
If they get too low, your body could catabolize protein for fuel instead of using it to repair muscle tissue.
Taking a rest day can help your body properly replace the energy stores in your muscle cells.
This will ensure that you have a full battery for your next hard workout.
2. Repair Tissues Damaged
A day of rest allows your body to repair tissues damaged from the mechanical stresses of exercise.
Specifically, rest allows time for the fibroblasts to do their job and repair any tissues that need it.
Fibroblasts are individual cells that repair damaged tissues such as muscle proteins.
3. Rest Your Mind
We all know how willpower and mindset is an essential part in keeping up with your daily workout.
So a well rested mind will help get you hyped to jumping back into your program.
Even though taking regular day offs from the gym may feel somewhat counter-intuitive.
You might find that one or two days off from the gym each week is more beneficial than going to the gym every single day.