What is the value of taking a rest day? The role recovery and rest plays in our overall health and fitness is often over shadowed by training, getting in the gym, and going hard. For some of our members Sunday is there only rest day, solely because the gym is closed. Rest days allow our bodies to heal, clear out toxins, and allow us to train at a higher capacity when we get back in the next day.
So what do we do on our rest days? One option is simple: nothing. Go to work if you have to, sleep, eat, and just rest. Sometimes this is really what you need. You’re spent, you’re sore, and you just don’t want to do a thing. Another option, which I value quite a bit, is active rest and recovery. Active rest may involve something like an hour of mobility, stretching, maybe some yoga, or an easy jog. Often times a little bit of movement aids in recovery and healing. If I’m super sore, I find that I feel better when I have an active recovery day with light rowing and mobility, versus how I feel after taking a true rest day where I sit around and get stiff. Go walk your dog, take a hike, or maybe hit up the pool, and stay out of the gym for a day if your body is asking for it. If you are coming to the gym day after day and feel like you are just getting kicked in the face, your body may be asking for a rest day. Toning down the intensity a notch, or seven, a day or two a week (or when your body is asking for it) is important in both physical and mental recovery. Listen to your body, take that rest day like a champ, and get back in the gym and hit hard the next day.