Fitness Tip of the Day: Stay Home

Some days you just need to forget about the gym

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People don’t have to fitness fanatics to allow themselves several days of rest. They are just as crucial to your health as the days you spend sweating at the gym. No, you are not being lazy and you are still going to lose weight and build muscle.

Sleeping only a couple of hours every night takes a toll on your body and mind. The same happens when you don’t let yourself recover after intense workouts every day. You make yourself prone to injury, soreness, extreme exhaustion.

IT’s OK to take a break every third day or at least once a week if you are more experienced. Take a few more days off after several weeks of consistent training (with a day or two of rest in the meantime).

Defining “rest”

You can rest your body and still be active. If prior to your day off you have been working out hard – lifting weights, doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – then stay home and watch TV all day. The most you should do is take a walk in the park, for example. If, however, you have not been killing it at gym, rest your muscles recover by staying on the couch but taking a long walk at some point, doing housework, playing some kind of sport outdoors (volleyball, football, handball), or go swimming.  

Explaining why

You need to take days off so your body has time to repair the muscles you are working on. If you run a lot, you are putting a lot of stress on your joints. Your muscles tighten and that can lead to bone spurs, shin splints, tears and many more problems.

Your immune system is responding to a problem by flooding the muscle with fluid that serves as a pad. Your body is keeping that fluid in, which restricts your joint movements and that only increases the risk of injury.

Overtraining makes you tired regardless of how many energy drinks you took or how hard you try. But working out too much only decreases the quality of each exercise you perform, among other things such as ruining your sleep.