Rest is one of the most important things to consider when taking up a serious health and fitness lifestyle. At first many people struggle to fit in the amount of training advised to them. However, this often changes quite rapidly and some people find themselves struggling to take a rest day or go away on holiday and give up specific exercise for a week. This kind of rest avoidance leads to an unhealthy relationship with rest.
Rest to Improve
You’ve probably heard someone say that changes happen outside of the gym/training ground. It’s a cliché but its true. You work hard when training ensuring progression, maintaining intensity and thus forcing adaptation, but those adaptations occur when you are resting. When the body is given the time and the resources, nutritional resources, to repair and rebuild. When you train your aim is to improve your body in some way, but it can only improve if you give it time to do this by resting.
It’s not hard to drift into a lifestyle where you feel like training needs to occur everyday. For some people to unwind and relax, some form of training may need to occur everyday and that’s where variety of movements is crucial. If you follow a bodybuilding style regime, rest days are imperative for your body to change; be those changes fat loss or muscle gain. However, if for your mental fitness you feel you need to do something, vary it up with active rests days utilising activities like yoga or stretching sessions.
There’s mnemonic I was taught in the Marines, R.E.S.T:
Rest for your own good
Spending time with people you care about and relaxing or relaxing in another way such as reading or watching a movie is not just important to give the body time to repair and recover from the hard training you put it through. It’s also important for the mind. A healthy mind helps with a healthy body. The two together should be your overall aim for a long, healthy life. Take your rest and give your body what it needs.