What do you do on your rest day? Days you take off from exercise are just as important as those days you spend working hard at the gym. Whether you run, lift, or participate in group fitness classes, giving yourself a proper rest day is just as vital in the process of reaching your fitness goals. Rest days allow your body to get the recovery it needs in order to repair and grow your muscles.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your rest day:
- Foam Roll – Foam rolling breaks up muscle tissue increasing blood flow to the muscles, leading to increased mobility and range of motion… AKA a faster recovery time.
- Stretch or Do Yoga – Active stretching helps reduce muscle tension and increases range of motion in the joints, which reduces risk of injury. Try taking a gentle yoga class to wind down and relax, with the added benefit of increasing flexibility.
- Hydrate – Most people do not drink enough water. It is important to stay hydrated, even on days where you are not exercising. Water transports nutrients to the muscles, which is especially important in the recovery process. Water also provides energy and reduces the feeling of fatigue.
- Eat Protein – Protein is used by the body to repair muscle tissue that is damaged during exercise. It is important to ingest enough protein, even on rest days, so that the body is able to recover much faster and the muscles can grow stronger.
- Walk – Going for an easy walk is a great, low impact way to get the blood flowing to the muscles while also burning a few extra calories. So go out and get some fresh air on your day off!
Be sure to speak with your Exercise Physiologist to figure out the best way to integrate rest days into your weekly workout routine.
– Taylor, Exercise Physiologist