Give your body a much earned break to see the best results!
Most of us know that with any sort of workout, rest and recovery must follow. Some may find it hard though, to take those rest days, it can feel like a break or like a waste of a perfectly good gym day...and we get it! We love the gym too! However, on your rest days, your body is actually doing a ton of work. A “rest day” is a very active day in your workout routine.
When you train in the gym, your body must recover in order to not only grow the muscle that you worked on but then also, it must be recovered for you to have a successful next trip to the gym. When you workout, you stress your body. Your body then compensates for that stress by adapting. To adapt, your muscles grow stronger and as a result, you will be able to increase your workload over time. During your rest day, your body is repairing and growing to allow for all of that to happen. Without that crucial rest day, you become at risk for more than poor strength and no muscle gain but also, injury, fatigue and illness.
Below you will find some tips to maximize your recovery and your rest days.
After Your Workout
Let’s start with the actual strength training workout. After you complete your workout, make time for 10-15 minutes of stretching. Studies have shown that doing static stretches after a workout is very beneficial to the recovery process. Static stretches consist of different stretches being held for about 15-30 seconds each. Your stretch should be a little bit challenging. Looking up proper stretching techniques and practicing proper form are important too.
Working Out On A Rest Day
A commonly asked question is if you can still workout on a rest day. Especially if you are really sore from the previous workout. While every situation can have many different variables to consider, the body typically needs 2-3 days to recover. In many cases it can be beneficial to do light cardio and a lot of stretching. During that 2-3 day recovery process, it can be okay to workout other body parts. Some people have great success with that while others find that it may slow down their recovery process. It is good to experiment and get to know your body and what works best for you. Always make sure to check with a doctor to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise and/or have a personal trainer by your side to guide you through that process. A professional can adjust your training and rest days according to your results. To try to avoid becoming too sore, try cryotherapy or thermotherapy. Cryotherapy would consist of a cold soak vs. thermotherapy which would consist of something like a sauna, hot tub, etc. You can also try massage therapy post-workout.
Making sure you have at least 2-3 rest days per week is ideal for maximum recovery and increased strength. Remember, it’s not just how hard you train but how well you recover!