Schedule Your Rest Days Like This For Better Results

Sometimes, taking steps to start a workout routine can be challenging, but it can be just as difficult to make yourself take a day off once you get going and you start seeing results.

If you are working towards your goals, you may be reluctant to take rest days. When you become focused and determined to get the results you want, all you want to do is keep pushing forward, day after day. The last thing we want to do is to take a day off.

After all, we are told that to stay healthy we need to be sure to stay active.

We fear taking rest days for many reasons. We don’t want to miss out on getting better results, and we are afraid that if we take a day to rest, we won’t be able to find the motivation to get started again.

But what if the key to more success was your rest day? Are you missing out on results and not hitting your goals because you are skipping your rest day?

In this post, you will learn:

  • How important rest days are to your results
  • The number of rest days you should have every week
  • Top 4 benefits of taking a rest day
  • What you should do on your rest day
  • The best supplements to maximize your results on your day off

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HOW IMPORTANT ARE REST DAYS? 

Taking your rest days are just as important as the days you are working out, and by skipping them, you could be doing your body more harm than good, putting you at a disadvantage.

When you don’t take your rest days, you could be putting more stress on your body than it can handle and this can lead to serious injuries. Overworking your body can lead to stress fractures, muscle pains, and joint pain.

It can also lead to overtraining syndrome, a condition that occurs when you don’t properly balance your workouts with adequate time to recover. Overtraining syndrome can result in fatigue, high blood pressure, disrupted sleep patterns, lower immunity, depression, poor performance, and workout related injuries [1, 2].

Not taking proper rest days can have a significant impact on your results and your health, but not in a positive way. Without taking a rest day, you won’t be able to perform your best at while at the gym, which can slow down your results.

When you work out, you are actively breaking down your body tissue, and with more intense workouts you can actually cause micro-tears in your muscle tissue. If you don’t rest these muscles, these tears will not have time to heal and will continue to tear. You know that feeling of being sore you get after a good workout? That is a sign those muscles need to rest and recover.

If you want to work towards creating better health, the key is to take rest days.

HOW MANY REST DAYS PER WEEK?

How often you take a rest day depends on the individual and how hard they are training. The ideal amount of time for to allow for your body to repair itself from the strains of a workout is at least 48 hours. This will give your muscles adequate time to repair themselves and get you ready to go hard again at the gym.

So does this mean you have to take two days off every time you workout? No, this rest period applies to the muscles that you have been working out.

You’ve heard people mention leg day, arm day, chest and back day, etc. If you want to continually work out and not have to take several days off every time you hit the gym, focus your time on working out one major body area at a time. Workout your legs on one day, and the following day workout your arms. Even though you are still working out, your legs will still be allowed to rest. You should work out each area of your body only two to three times a week, allowing for proper rest time after each workout. On top of this schedule, it is important to take full days off to let your body recover. You should have full rest days about twice a week.

So what about cardio? Because cardio also focuses on raising your heart rate, how often should you be taking rest days between cardio sessions?

When it comes to cardio, you need to learn to trust your body and understand your limits. If you are just starting out and are still learning your limits, try taking a break from cardio two to three days a week to ensure that you are not over-exerting yourself.

BENEFITS OF TAKING A REST DAY

  • Prevents Injury – When you take a break and allow your body to rest, you are less likely to injure yourself during a workout. This is because as you rest, your bones and muscles become stronger as they repair. If you don’t rest and allow your body to recover, you are entering the gym with muscle tissue that is already breaking down, making it weaker, and you are more likely to harm yourself. Rest must occur 1 – 2 times per week to actually prevent injury [3].
  • Increased Strength and Performance – Incorporating rest days into your weeks helps to recover and rebuild muscles, making them stronger. This increased strength can then help you perform better during your next workout, making it more effective than if you were to take no rest days at all [4].
  • Better Sleep – Not taking a rest day and overtraining can affect your sleep. When you take the time to let your body recover, your sleep improves. Sleep is also the time when your body does most of its recovery as it is during this time your growth hormones are the highest [5].
  • Improved Immune System – Rest days can impact your immune system, especially if you are doing highly intense training, such as CrossFit. Studies show that taking at least two consecutive days off a week can significantly improve your immune system. When you go hard and don’t take time to rest and recover, your body can experience a drop in anti-inflammatory immune system proteins [6].

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ON REST DAYS? 

When you take a day off after training, it can be difficult to know just what to do during these days to increase your results. You know you can’t go back to working out, so what do you do on these days?

Your rest days should be planned, just like you plan out your workouts. Just because you aren’t working out, doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch all day and watch TV. You can still take this time to be active and do some more relaxing activities, such as stretching and working on your mobility. This is the perfect time to stretch out your muscles and improve your flexibility, this way you are continually making more progress while also letting your muscles recover.

These rest days are also the perfect days to head to the grocery store and do your meal prepping. Meal prepping on your rest day is the best because you’ll have more energy to take the time to make several days worth of food and make sure you are eating right on the days you are giving it all in the gym.

You can also make this a fun activity day for the whole family, doing things that are low intensity. Here are some examples of activities you can do to stay active:

  • Take a swim
  • Go for a walk
  • Take a leisurely bike ride
  • Play with your kids

Keep in mind that your activities don’t have to be too intense or exhausting, nor do you have to sit at home all day just to rest. You can still get out of the house and have some fun!

Having your rest days planned out and scheduled, just like your workout days, will help to keep you on a routine where you are more likely stay determines and hit your goals.

SUPPLEMENTS THAT HELP SPEED UP RECOVERY

During your rest days, you can use supplements to make the most of your rest time. The best supplements to take for recovery are protein, BCAAs, and X-Cell.

Organic Vegan Protein Superfood is the best supplement you can take on your days off to improve your recovery. It is a supplement that is quickly and easily digested and absorbed by the body. It is also full of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and one of the benefits of this is that it promotes muscle growth and recovery [7, 8].

This is also the same reasons that consuming BCAAs on the days you workout can be beneficial to drink on days you are working out.

X-Cell is also the perfect supplement to add into your workout days, as it promotes muscle recovery and cell regeneration.

Knowing what supplements to take for better recovery and when you should take them is can significantly improve your body’s ability to rebuild and recover.

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