When we think about our fitness goals, workouts, workout schedule, diet, supplements, etc. We tend to get a little caught up in all of the planning but quickly realize, ‘Oh, when should I plan for a rest day(s)?’ The moment follows feels like all of your planning was for nothing and you have to start all over again. Been there, done that. However, it is just as important to think and plan in rest days too.
Why do we need rest days?
Rest days are just as important as work out days and here is why.
- they prevent injuries
- your muscles need the rest
- you won’t lose any gains
- working out too much negatively effects your sleep
Which day is the best rest day(s)?
When you plan out your workout schedule pick one or two days where you limit your activity to allow your body and muscles to recover. There really is no golden rule on which days should be your rest days. For a lot of people, they like to take rest days after their most intense workout days. Others like to take rest days on the weekends just because they want to freedom and flexibility in their schedules to hang out with family or friend and feel a bit less structured. Really it is up to you. The rule to follow when it comes to rest days is to first listen to your body and second to at least schedule in one or two per week. Listening to your body is the most important. Some weeks you may feel like your body needs an extra rest day or two, while other weeks you may need one less. Allowing your schedule to be flexible and not beat yourself up about an extra rest day will actually put you steps ahead of others.
What does a rest day look like?
Again this is up to each individual. Some people like to rest completely. Others like to use their rest days and go for long walks, or go kayaking, or go on an easy to moderate hike. Your type of rest days will depend on your normal activity and fitness level. Also, your rest days could be in a row or spread out–it depends on what works best for your and your schedule.
How many rest days do you typically take each week and what does your rest day look like?