Regular workout programs and sessions with a fitness trainer are helpful for staying healthy, controlling weight, and keeping muscles toned. Rest days are also important because they allow muscles to adapt to the stress of running or weight training, giving the tissues time to repair and become stronger. Here’s a helpful guide to rest days and how to make the most of them.
How Often Should You Take Rest Days?
These days are essential for allowing the body to heal and recover. This prevents injuries and boosts the performance of muscles, tendons, and ligaments during subsequent workouts. There are no hard-and-fast rules about how many rest days you need each week. However, professional fitness trainers recommend taking a day off 24 to 48 hours after strenuous exercise, such as high-intensity interval training or cycling. Resting allows micro-tears in muscular tissues to repair, reducing inflammation and soreness. Always allow for 48 hours of rest between high-intensity training of the same muscle groups so they don’t become overworked.
What Should You Do on Rest Days?
Drink plenty of water on rest days. Men should consume approximately 3.7 liters, and women need about 2.7 liters each day. Proper hydration lubricates the joints, prevents muscle cramps, and allows the body to perform optimally during the next workout. Contrast therapy increases blood flow to muscles and accelerates the purging of lactic acid, which causes burning and discomfort after exercising. Practice contrast therapy by getting into an ice bath for about 45 seconds, then taking a hot shower for three to four minutes, and briefly returning to the ice bath. Repeat this three times on rest days. Do not engage in strenuous training or activity on off days. If you feel the urge to move your body, consider light yoga and mobility exercises that gently engage muscles without damaging them. Always aim for at least 8 hours of sleep on these days, as well. Promote your overall health and wellness with personal training and workout programs from Affirmation Fit. This company is owned and managed by fitness trainer Sarah Herren. She is a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer, and she offers customized workouts to clients throughout Alton, IL. Whether you are looking for in-person or virtual training, Sarah can help. Call (618) 670-5471 to book a session, and visit the website to learn more about her qualifications and passion for fitness.