"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" - that's how the saying goes right? In order to make progress, it seems logical that you need to do more work and push yourself harder. However, it's important to remember that rest days are a crucial part of your training program and not giving yourself time to recover could, in fact, be stopping your progress. So before you head to your fifth HIIT class of the week, we’re here to explain why rest days are just as important as your training days.
Overuse = injuries! If you push your body too hard without giving it a break, you're likely to suffer from overuse and will find yourself getting injured. When you fail to schedule in those essential recovery days, your immune system simply won't be able to keep up with all the repairs your body needs. What's more, by heading to the gym feeling tired and sore from your last session, it's likely your form is going to slip - potentially causing more injuries!
Helps Your Muscles to Grow
The tears to your muscle fibers that happen when you’re strength training need time to repair themselves in order for your muscles to grow in size and strength. Without giving yourself a proper rest, you’re not going to be getting the full benefits out of your training - which is why it is crucial to switch up your training to hit different muscle groups and to listen to your body if you're feeling super sore.
Improves Your Sleep
Struggling to get in a solid 8 hours of beauty sleep? Although trying to exhaust yourself with a hardcore workout might seem like a good solution, over-training could actually be the cause of your tossing and turning. Too much exercise can make your body feel as if it's constantly on high alert and in a state of stress, preventing you from falling asleep at night. Sound relatable? Try swapping your next high-intensity session for a light evening walk outside to hit the pillow feeling calm and relaxed.
Gives You a Mental Boost
Too much of anything is never a good thing, and over-training is no different. As well as affecting you physically, hitting the gym everyday can also cause serious mental burnout. Taking a break for just a day or two can help give your motivation the boost in needs and will keep your workouts enjoyable. Think quality over quantity - it's better to work hard and get in 4 great workouts than 7 half-hearted sessions.