Rest days can be JUST as important as training days. Are you taking full advantage and getting the most out of them?
Taking a day (or even two) off from training or any high intensity or long-distance endurance cardio is not only helpful for recovery, but PROGRESS. That's right...by NOT doing something, you can actually progress faster. Recovery and "growth" happen when the body isn't working, so ensuring that there's time in your week for this to happen is essential for optimizing progress, whether that's hitting a PR on a lift, increasing your pace speed while running, or even just working on body composition changes.
Check out some DOs and DONTs we often encourage when it comes to rest days.
DO still move your body.
Rest days are important for recovery and recovery can actually be expedited through low-intensity movement. So still take that daily walk or leisurely bike ride. Stay moving and prioritize those daily steps, because your body will thank you.
DO some kind of restorative practice.
Take a restorative yoga class or set aside 15-20 minutes of intentional stretching or breath work. These can all be great practices for your central nervous system, which also needs rest and recovery from training.
DON'T be a complete couch potato.
Just because it's labeled a rest day doesn't mean you need to set up camp on the couch and binge Netflix all day. Movement can and will allow improved recovery (which is what rest days are all about).
DON'T drastically decrease your calories.
Just because you aren't training or exerting a higher level of energy doesn't mean your body doesn't need just as much food. Muscle growth and glycogen replenishes DURING rest time and this can only happen if the body is getting enough food to do so.
DON'T forget to hydrate.
Being a bit less active (or at least less intense activity) can often cause a lack of water to be consumed. Be sure you are drinking just as much water as you normally would on active/training days.
As coaches, we don't just program your training, we also program REST. We've seen firsthand how important it can be in a client's progress AND we often used extended rest days (or even a week) strategically to jumpstart or "reset" a client's progress.
Interested in what this kind of coaching looks like? Check out our 1:1 coaching page on the website to learn more and inquire HERE if this kind of individualized coaching is something you feel could take you and your goals to the next level.