I struggle with taking days “off” and this is partly the reason why I am blogging it. I should practice what I preach so maybe writing about it will hold me more accountable?
Rest days or easy days are an important element to your workout program because they let your body regenerate and replenish glycogen stores you’ve depleted over strenuous exercise. If you over exercise you can fatigue, which can effect your performance. It is hard to give a workout 100% when your body is tight, sore and tired. For example, I mix in a lot of cross training and it is hard for me to make my long runs productive on the weekends when my body is fatigued. I’m not going to PR (get faster) if my training runs aren’t productive. (This is me giving myself a pep talk to take a freaking day off.)
While working out can boost your immune system, overtraining can depress it and increase your risk of getting sick. Overtraining can also cause overuse injuries, which is definitely something you want to avoid at all costs. Your brain can feel fatigued too. After a rest day you’ll feel mentally stoked to get back to work rather than feeling burnt out or stale.
Taking a day off doesn’t mean you have to be lazy. Here are some of my fave things to do to recharge!
- Walk the dogs
- Restorative or deep stretch yoga
- Easy bike ride on my Fixie
- Easy swim with a pull float or buoy (the bae does this one)
- Epsom salt bath
- Yogi Tea
- Muscle Recovery Green Tea
- Ginger Tea
- Arnica gel
- Body rolling
- Foam rolling
- Ice baths
- Reflexology & message therapy
- Detox water
Note: The recovery list is a great resource for things you should be doing on the reg, not just on rest days. I foam roll multiple times a week. Foam rolling breaks up fibrous tissue and adhesions. This helps circulation, which can reduces soreness. Here are 5 foam rolling mistakes to avoid.
Have something I should add to the list? Let me know in the comment section.