The Importance of Rest Day!

Sometimes it’s hard to squeeze in a rest day! I typically religiously take Fridays as my rest days, every week.  But last week, the weather wast unseasonably warm; in the 70s (!!) and I couldn’t pass up running a few miles before my parents came to town.  It’s now been 13 days since my last day off from running, cycling, or working out, and my body is tired.  No rest day last week, on top of several two-a-days last week and this week have made me really look forward to my rest day tomorrow.

Photo Sep 27, 5 27 24 PM

Taking a rest day is so important, for your body and mind. I’ll share several reasons that I take rest days, and I’d love for you to weigh in with reasons that you take rest days, or reasons you will begin to take rest days:

– Your muscles need to recover and rest.  Your immune system needs a chance to play catch up and keep you healthy.

– You won’t lose fitness by taking 1 day off every week to 10 days.

– Overtraining could lead to lack of sleep, which reduces the effectiveness of your workouts AND rests.

– Taking a day off every week to 10 days helps keep you from burning out.

– You can pamper yourself! Take the time that you normally are running, cycling, or workout out, and get a pedicure, massage, catch up on your favorite show, or go for a relaxing (read: SLOW!) walk.

– Overtraining can lead to a fitness plateau.  Your overworked body will compensate by trying to protect you from exhaustion.

– Recovery time is when your muscles actually get stronger, so giving yourself a day allows depleted reserves, such as fuel and oxygen, to become restored. (source)

– Taking rest days helps prevent overuse injuries.

I’m not trying to tell you not to work out, but to strongly consider taking a rest day! I am not one to do “run streaks” or to do a challenge to workout every day for a year, etc.  I know my body needs a rest day just about every week, and I take my rest days seriously, by hydrating, wearing my compression sleeves, stretching, and looking forward to the next day I can run!

Share your favorite part of your rest day!