Rest Days – Necessary But What Should You Really Be Doing?
Everyone knows how important rest days are for recovery in a healthy workout schedule. As muscles grow they need time to repair which means that taking a day or two off every week from more rigorous workouts might be necessary. Should you be vegging out on your rest days or is there a better option for your body that will improve your overall recovery?
To Be A Vegetable or Not To Be A Vegetable!
In order for a muscle to grow, it needs to be damaged! Now that damage isn’t a bad thing, in the case of muscles, the micro tears that occur when working out allow the muscle to build back bigger and better than before. Muscles require blood flow, which means that just sitting around not doing anything, won’t assist in speeding up your muscle recovery!
That is why “active” recovery is incredibly important. Your body will be better served by taking a slow non-strenuous walk or gentle bike ride after an intense workout. This gentle movement will allow blood flow to help speed up that muscles recovery which means you are much less likely to be sore or stiff after an intense workout!
If walking or riding your bike just doesn’t seem too enticing, you can opt for a gentle yoga or tai chi class. These gentle forms of movement will allow your body to recover faster and you will see your results sooner!
On top of gentle movement, it is important to hydrate and fuel your body properly to replace the essential nutrients your body loses over the course of working out. Making sure to drink plenty of water will allow your body to speed up the recovery process even more.
At the end of the day, if your body is feeling incredibly stiff or sore you may feel best being couch/bed bound. However, a little movement and proper hydration will help you get back to your intense workouts and fitness goals in no time!