Women's Health

The Truth About Rest Days

Hey, you. The one who’s training daily. Yes, you. It’s time to take a day off. Seriously.

Why? During a workout, you’re busy tearing muscle fibers down. And during periods of rest, your body repairs and grows. So without adequate recovery time, muscles can’t repair.

“I see people at the gym all the time who spend two to three hours working out in back-to-back sessions thinking it’s helping them,” says Christina L. Moreland, a certified personal trainer, online coach and author of Secrets of the Super Mom (CreateSpace, 2014). “More should be better, right? Wrong! In reality, they are just tearing down their bodies and immune systems because they’re not giving themselves adequate time to recover. Spending too much time working out can actually impede your progress, not propel it forward.”

rest day

Reasons for Rest Days

Moreland explains that there are many reasons to incorporate rest days into your fitness program, including the following:

  • Injury prevention
  • Improved physical performance
  • Reduced joint inflammation and soreness
  • Decreased likelihood of minor injuries, such as muscle strains and tears
  • Improved sleep
  • Healthier outlook on exercise (You’re more likely to come back with a good attitude ready to work, and more important, you’ll be physically prepared to handle it.)

“My goal as a fitness enthusiast is longevity,” Moreland says. “I want to be in the gym when I’m in my 80s. And as a personal trainer, my No. 1 goal for my client is her safety and protection while I’m helping her achieve her goals. Simply put, rest days are not a luxury. They are essential and need to be built in weekly.”

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