If you are someone who works out a lot, chances are you are familiar with the term rest day. Whether you are lifting weights or playing sports, everyone requires a rest day. It allows your body to rest and recover, as well as prepare itself to be tested again the next training day.
Some people are not too fond of rest days. There’s a lot of athletes out there who just want to train. Which, in a sense, isn’t the worst trait to have. That is as long as you understand boundaries. As great as that motivation is, you would actually be causing your body more harm than benefit. So, a rest day is essential, but what do you do throughout the day?
A rest day doesn’t necessarily mean lie in bed all day and wait. You can still be active; as a matter of fact, it’s better to be. This stops your muscles from stiffening. However, keep the workout at a low intensity to prevent damage. A perfect example of this is yoga. It works your body lightly, as well as allowing you to stretch and become more flexible. Yoga is also fantastic for working on your breathing while being active.
Some alternative exercises to yoga are the likes of pilates, tai chi, or even going on a light walk. All of these will get your body moving without being strenuous. The choice is yours – just try to resist exerting yourself too much.
Address Injuries and Strains
Everyone who does sport or exercises for a meaningful amount of time is bound to pick up an injury at one stage or another. Some are bad, while some are more bearable. For worse injuries, your rest day may need to be extended. Torn and pulled muscles, breaks and fractures, and anything else that causes prolonged pain should be examined by a professional. When it comes to these injuries, going back to train prematurely is very foolish. This can further the existing damage, and even have permanent effects. You should wait until the injury is fully gone, and then start easing yourself back into training.
For lighter injuries, you should also address them. This could be the likes of muscle fatigue and bruises. These aren’t enough to keep you out of action, but should still be monitored. You can use physical therapy products from PrePak to address many of these issues. Failure to acknowledge such damage could further the injury to a more serious level.
Eat and Hydrate
For anyone who trains consistently, you should already know protein helps muscles recover. This means on rest days, you should try to eat as much lean protein as possible. Eat good healthy food that will help your body recover properly.
Training can also leave you quite dehydrated. Building up a sweat is great, but you need to start rehydrating yourself. Not drinking enough water and becoming dehydrated could leave you very ill. It can also lead to muscle cramps and lack of recovery.