It may not seem like it at first, but working out can be very addictive. This is especially true when you start to see positive gains, and all of that hard work you've been putting in begins to pay off.
It is around that time that your exercise routines start to become something you look forward to rather than dread. Going to the gym or for a run no longer seems like a daunting task, but is instead an integral part of your day. So much so, that you may even start to feel bad when you skip a workout. But no matter how fit you become, mixing in rest days should be an important part of your exercise plan.
Here's why you should learn to embrace those days off too.
Your Body Needs Recovery Time
No matter what type of exercise routine you do your body requires some recovery time to help your muscles regain strength and bounce back to their previous levels of freshness. This is especially true for high-impact sports such as running or cycling, but even yoga and Pilates practitioners need to allow some time for rest too.
If you don't give yourself the proper amount of time to recover, fatigue can set in, which will in turn drag your level of performance down. That will make it much harder to continue to improve your overall fitness, and could actually compromise some of the positive gains you've already made.
Your Mind Does Too!
Rest days aren't just for the body, they are essential for the mind too.
A long workout can be intense, leaving you mentally fatigued as well. Being overly tired can affect your memory; impact your problem solving skills, and lower your all around awareness. Taking a break from the routine gives your mind the chance to bounce back as well, which may be just the thing you need to return to the gym with a fresh outlook.
So Does Your Immune System!
Regular exercise puts a strain on your immune system as it tries to repair strained and exhausted body parts. By taking a break you give your immune system a chance to work its magic without pushing itself to the limit. In other words, rest days can actually help you to be more healthier.
You'll Avoid Injury
Rest days can also help you to avoid injuries that can sometime crop up from over-training. For instance, shin splints, minor muscles tears, and bone spurs can all result from working out too much. By not allowing your body to have the time it needs to heal properly you could turn a minor injury into a major one. That could sideline you from working out at all, and cause setbacks to your fitness training.
Rest days can help you avoid that issue by allowing those nagging little injuries to heal, keeping you on track to reach your goals.
You'll Sleep Better
Intense workouts can impact your ability to sleep, as tired, aching muscles can sometimes lead to restlessness. By taking a day off, though, you'll give those muscles time to rest, which can in turn lead to better sleep, which only aids in the recovery process.
You've Earned It!
If none of these arguments are convincing, at last keep this one in mind. After working out for several days, you've earned yourself a break. Embrace that attitude, and rest day will be much easier to accept. Everything else will just fall into line.