We’re all familiar with the “No Days Off” mantra, whether it be applied towards work goals, personal goals, or fitness goals.
This phrase isn’t inherently unhealthy, as it can inspire some to push themselves to work diligently towards a goal until it’s achieved. The only issue with a “No Days Off” lifestyle is when it’s taken literally, which seems to happen quite frequently. It makes sense since “rest” is often equated to “laziness,” a trait that someone who is a motivated, hard worker usually wants to steer clear of.
Plus, when it comes to exercise, the more you do it the better your results, right? Well, not necessarily. Without allowing proper rest time, you’re actually likely to be falling behind in your gains, as well as setting yourself up for injury. Rest is essential for optimal performance and injury prevention.
Put simply, rest is just another essential part of a well-designed exercise program.
During exercise, physical structures within muscle tissue are broken down. During rest, these tissues rebuild and, over time, become bigger and stronger. However, without rest, muscle tissue can’t repair itself, inhibiting growth and creating susceptibility to injury. Without rest, the immune system suffers, inflammation in the body can occur, and glycogen (essentially the fuel used to work out) is not replaced. These factors can cause overall decreased performance, altered hormonal states, poor sleeping patterns, loss of appetite, mood swings, and even reproductive disorders.
Working out under these conditions is a recipe for disaster, more specifically, injury.
Even an experienced weight lifter or athlete can overuse a muscle or body part without allowing proper rest time. Giving your body the time it needs to heal ensures that repetitive stress or overtraining injuries do not occur, such as stress fractures, muscle strains, and even joint issues.
Some physical activity every day is, of course, necessary and encouraged. But allow your muscles at least 1-2 days of rest between intense exercise. And while resting, ensure you’re also getting plenty of REM sleep and hydrating frequently.
If you’re not meeting your fitness goals, struggling with injury prevention, or are experiencing pain you think may be exercise-related, please come in for an appointment. Together, we can make sure you’re getting the results you’re after in the healthiest, most risk-free way possible.