Why You Need a Rest Day
When you become engulfed in a nutrition and training program with hopes of changing your body composition, the concept of taking a day off from the gym can at first seem counterproductive. However, in order to reach our full potential, a day off from lifting heavy every now and then is necessary. You can even make it an active rest day and participate in some type of cardio or something fun and outdoorsy like hiking, swimming, etc. Here are some reasons that rest days are important for your physical and mental health, and will help you reach your goals!
Another concept people sometimes struggle to grasp is that muscle growth does not occur in the gym during a lifting session, but afterwards when you are recovering! The concept behind strength training is creating little tears in your muscle fibers, which will then repair and grow stronger. Without any rest, this process of repair will be hindered and the muscles can even atrophy. So don’t think of it is as a rest day, but rather as a GROWTH day. Especially when you are cutting, your body definitely needs to rest in order to build muscle, refill those glycogen stores, and come back stronger. A caloric deficit makes these tasks harder for the body to accomplish, but simply adding in a day of rest or active rest will help tremendously with these processes.
Also, your muscles are not the only part of your body that can be overused when constant stress is placed upon them without any periods of rest. The joints, tendons, and even your bones will thank you for taking a day to rest! Also, your immune systems AND central nervous systems are constantly working to keep up with your heightened energy expenditure due to exercise. If you don’t rest enough these systems may not be able to function optimally and work to repair the body. Plus, would you rather spend one day a week allowing your muscles to rest, or weeks/months on end recovering from an injury due to overtraining? Without any days off from lifting you are probably overusing the muscles which heightens your risk for injury significantly. Take that rest day, and you will notice that your body works much more efficiently than it would if you had not taken the day to recover.
If you would like to work with one our nutritionists contact us through our website or call 732-462-LEAN(5326)
Written by: Emily Ventura BS Public Health