Rest day you say… why would we want to do that?
Many fitness junkies find the idea of taking a day off as an evil ploy meant to help us fall off track and regain all those little things (like pounds and inches) we were trying to get rid of. Whatever your reason for working out, walking, hiking, biking, skating or skiing we all need a day off sometimes.
But I’m just seeing progress!
That’s the one that gets me. Once the clothes start fitting again and the scale is no longer my mortal enemy I want to push forward harder and faster! I want to get to the next achievement and the next goal and a rest day seems like a waste of time…. But it’s not.
Rest days are actually implemented in many professional training plans, even those of Olympic athletes, in order to allow the body time to recuperate. As we work out and exercise, we place greater strain on our muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints. (especially us couch potatoes new to this whole moving on a regular basis. When a person
goes from 3500 steps a day 10 over 10,000 there’s bound to be a “body learning curve”) Our immune system is activated when there are muscle tears or joint strains, but if the body doesn’t come out of continual practice, this system doesn’t have the time to catch up and start patching everything back together.
If you decide to not have a rest day, you run a greater risk of injury. Say you take part in a high-impact sport such as running; running puts stress on your joints and lower extremities to a level that has the ability to crack bones and tighten muscles. When you don’t take a day off here and there, your tight calf muscles or tendons of the feet can lead to bone spurs, shin splints, muscle tears, tendon shearing and so much more. Also, when the immune system is responding, it floods overworked areas with fluid to help cushion those areas. While this is admirable, the problem lies in the fact that fluid retention can alter the proper movement of joints and create further injury. Thus, by taking a day off, you’re not only allowing your immune system to help “fix” you, but you’re also keeping it from hurting you.
So in short, don’t overdo it in your quest to get it done. Be kind to your body and it’ll be kind to you!
*Some info from www.wellbridge.com