If you’ve just started or intensified your fitness program, you might be asking yourself, “What should I do on rest days from lifting?” At Pamela Young Fitness in Phoenix, AZ, we can’t overemphasize the importance of taking recovery days. You might feel like you’ve got to push yourself to make up for lost time (especially if this is a New Year’s resolution), but that can actually produce the opposite results. Taking your fitness plan one step at a time is the key to long-term success.
Why over-exercising is a problem
If you’ve just launched yourself into a new fitness program or identified a new goal you’d like to achieve, you will probably be tempted to go overboard. Don’t do it! Over-exercising poses a serious hazard to your health. Here’s why: exercising is, by definition, a strain on your body. Over time, your muscles will develop and your internal organs will learn to cope with that strain—but the key is that it takes time.
When you over-exercise, you’re not only in danger of losing your motivation (because it hurts), but you’re also risking serious stress injuries. These can include stress fractures, muscle strain and joint damage. Having injuries not only prevents you from working out further until you recover, but in many cases, it can kill your motivation completely. What’s worse is that when you subject yourself to repeated strain, according to Master Trainer Crystal Reeves, you also increase “the possibility of decreased performance, fatigue, altered hormonal states, poor sleeping patterns, reproductive disorders, decreased immunity, loss of appetite and mood swings.”
What to do on recovery days
Your goal should be to get about 150 minutes of exercise per week, however you slice it, but the idea is to work different muscle groups at different times. There’s a reason people joke about “arm day” and “leg day,” for example—it’s because your body isn’t meant to deal with repeated stress on the same muscle group day in and day out. In fact, four days is the ideal recovery time for intensive workouts.
What should you do on rest days from lifting? On the days you’re not headed into the gym to target a specific muscle group, take a break. Your body needs the time to regenerate muscle tissue. Intense workouts can create microscopic muscle tears, which need time to repair. Supplements, sleep and good hydration are the keys to ensuring your body is healthy and happy. Most importantly, however, make sure you take a day or two off from exercise.
Schedule personal training in Phoenix, AZ
Pamela Young Fitness can help you reach your goals—and yes, that includes taking recovery days to help your body maximize its potential. Whatever your fitness level, you’re welcome at our gym. Our goal is to create results for everyone, and that means working with you as an individual. We’ll meet you where you are to create the healthy body you want. Call us today to find out how we can help you achieve your health goals.
Categorised in: Workout Tips