By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
It’s common knowledge that an inactive lifestyle is not good for you and could lead to a host of health and quality of life problems. In contrast, an active lifestyle can resolve existing health and quality of life issues, as well as prevent possible future health problems and physical challenges. An active lifestyle involves being, well, active! ?
So that must mean working out more is really good for you, right? Hang on a sec.
There are two main components of the workout process:
1. Tearing down (what you do in the gym).
2. Rebuilding (what you do after the gym).
NEWER, BETTER, STRONGER
Let’s say that your body is an old, dilapidated home. You want to tear down the structure and rebuild a newer and stronger home that will function at maximum capacity again.
The tearing down process is what happens when you do weight-bearing, resistance exercises. The rebuilding of the muscle tissue process involves using raw materials (food) – and the ever-elusive art of taking adequate, quality rest days (rest is not a four-letter word ?).
WHAT IS A REST DAY
A rest day can mean many things. Rest days can range from literally laying around all day binge-watching Netflix and barely getting off the couch, to taking a day trip to the zoo and walking around for hours, to a hot yoga class followed by foam-rolling and stretching. This is where it’s important to really listen to your body and what it needs. If you do plan to be a little active on rest days, just watch the intensity of your activity and don’t over-do it or else it won’t really be a rest day.
BETTER RESULTS WITH REST
One of the top reasons why you may not see the results you’re hoping to achieve is because you’re still stuck in the mind-set that more (training) is better. But maybe, just maybe, you’ll get better results if you let your body finish the second half of the muscle-building process: rest/recovery. Not resting enough will lead to overtraining.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
You’ve heard the saying “Don’t skip leg day.” Well, don’t skip rest day! Here’s why:
1. Listen to Your Body
There are telltale signs that your body is ready to start the recovery process, such as fatigue, having trouble focusing or concentrating, being sore and achy all over, having low energy, loss of appetite, to name a few.
2. Don’t Be Afraid
I have known many people over the years who were afraid to take even just one rest day because they thought if they stopped they would fall off the wagon. Schedule your days off and then get back to it after you’ve rested. It’s as simple as that, and it’s much easier to do if you have a structured schedule of workout days and rest days.
3. Remember The Reason
Rest/recovery days are part of the health and fitness process. Without exercise, you can’t reach your fitness goals. But without proper nutrition and rest and recovery, you won’t get there either. You are not being lazy when you take a rest day. You are allowing your body to finish what it started with the workout. If you need to think about it like this, just know your workout isn’t truly done until you’ve allowed your body to recover. ?
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ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.