Whether you’re exercising for the good of your health or in training for a sport or endurance race, you need to remember that more is not always better. There is nothing wrong with taking a break occasionally, as a rest day can be beneficial to you.
You don’t have to let yourself go when you’re taking a break, of course, as you can still eat well, take supplements for weight loss, and keep yourself busy at home. So, don’t assume a rest day involves a day on the sofa and a diet of foods that you know aren’t good for you, as this would obviously ruin your fitness plans.
To give you the incentive to rest up occasionally, consider the benefits.
#1: You will give your body time to heal
If you push yourself too hard, you could cause undue stress on your body, and you could cause yourself an injury. This would obviously scupper your fitness plans. Your body needs sufficient time to rest, as it’s an important part of the recovery process.
A day of rest will allow time for the fibroblasts (the cells that repair damaged tissue) to go to work and heal your body. It will also give your circulatory system time to deliver the nutrients and oxygen levels needed to heal broken tissues and renew your energy levels.
After resting, you will be in a better state to return to your fitness plan, and you will have less need to worry about any lingering aches, pains, and muscle soreness.
#2: You will avoid exercise burnout
When exercising, you don’t only exert your body physically. You push yourself mentally too, as it might take a lot of mental stamina to get through some of the workouts you take part in. This can lead to burnout (also known as mental exhaustion) and this could cause you to feel anxiety and stress when you’re next thinking about working out.
When you give yourself a psychological break, you will give your mind time to recover and relax. You will have the opportunity to take part in more calming activities, and both your body and mind will start to destress and unwind. You will then be ready and raring to go for your next workout instead of dreading the prospect.
#3: You will reduce the risk of exercise addiction
Is it possible to get addicted to exercise? Unfortunately yes, and this is because of the buzzing feelings you might experience after your workout. Feel-good chemicals are released when we exercise, and while this is a good thing, some people work out more to increase those feelings of pleasure. As you can read in this article at Healthline, this can sometimes lead to an unhealthy obsession with exercise.
You can overcome exercise addiction by limiting your workouts. By taking a rest day once a week, you will have the time to do other things with your time, and these distractions can be healthy. You should also be less prone to exercise withdrawal symptoms, such as feelings of guilt, restlessness, and anxiety.
Thanks for reading!