These days we get easily motivated by what we see – getting a fitness coach and desiring certain body goals could take only a few minutes on the gram. While this desire to stay svelte might encourage you to kick your fitness routine into high-gear, it’s easy to take things too far. Working yourself to exhaustion at the gym every day means you’re at risk for over-training, and it can take a toll on your body.
Taking rest days from your workout may actually be healthier for your bones and body than a nonstop fitness streak, according to a small new study.
One of the hottest current fitness crazes in the country is the high-intensity interval workout (HIIT) – a mix of intense exercise and moderate-intensity exercise – as a way to maximize your time in the gym. However, some fitness professionals are stressing the need to slow down to speed up your fitness progress.
If you’re feeling run down, a little rest could benefit you in five different ways. So take a break. Your body will thank you.
Benefits of Taking A Day Off The Gym
Reduce the risk of injury
Performing strenuous workouts every day might get you in shape initially, but you could soon find yourself suffering from some painful problems.
Even for exercise veterans, a day or two per week might not be enough. If you’re involved in a seasonal sport or activity, longer periods of rest should be a regular part of your routine. Good training programs incorporate rest periods into an annual cycle where athletes will perform activities that aren’t as intense. Since professionals take some downtime during their offseason, you should, too.
When preparing for a competition, there’s nothing worse than finding your progress has flat-lined. The natural response might be to amp up the intensity of your program, but pushing yourself harder could make your performance suffer even more. Runner’s World says constantly exhausting yourself doesn’t allow your body to adapt to the stress, so you won’t be able to get faster or stronger. Continuing to train without allotting for proper rest means your performance will continue to decline.
Too much bodily stress leads to an increased production of cortisol, a stress hormone that contributes to irritability. For some folks, too much training can lead to more severe mental issues. In a bid to stay fit by working yourself to exhaustion, some individuals start to have a distorted view of exercise when they’re overtrained. They start to think of hitting the gym as a challenge or a way to fill an empty space. Poor body image can lead some to think they need to exercise more in order to look better.
Aside from feeling fatigued, overdoing your workouts can have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. Exercising too much makes your body restless, so it’s difficult to get a solid night of sleep. That’s especially problematic for those interested in bulking up. Sleep increases growth hormones, which are crucial for developing strong muscles.
Burn more calories
It’s easy to go overboard with exercising if you’re aiming to get lean. Once again, rest plays a vital role. You’ll only get the results you’re after by combining training and time off. And if you regularly lift weights, you’re already boosting your ability to slim down; this is because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does.
If the thought of doing absolutely nothing is just too agonizing, consider an active rest day. The key is making sure to keep your effort light, otherwise you’ll fall right back into the over-training cycle.