Why we need rest days
Although it can be tempting to spend everyday going hard on the exercise during lockdown, it's important to remember the benefits of taking regular rest days. Although I exercised several times per week pre-isolation, it's since become an everyday activity that on reflection has become a coping mechanism for feeling a sense of productivity with my day. I’m a total fidget, love being busy and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a tough session. Several weeks into my home workouts, the body aches started to creep it and I realised it was time for the dreaded REST DAY.
Rest days are essential given that each time we exercise, microscopic tears are created in the muscle that require time to recover. High impact exercises can raise cortisol levels that lead to overstimulation, therefore it's recommended to balance out HIIT workouts with lower intensity exercises like yoga, walking or a light cycle. Factoring a rest day into your training schedule can help to prevent risk of injury or overtraining and lead to greater results in the long term. Without these, our bodies aren't given the chance to rebuild muscle and we undermine all of the hard work that's been put in.
After years of training, I've finally seen the benefits of not training everyday. Instead, I’ve managed to reach a happy compromise by scheduling in 'active recovery' in the form of a leisurely walk with friends or family. Rather than feeling despondent or impatient during your rest days, why not take the opportunity to foam roll and stretch, go for a mindful stroll or batch cook your meals for the next few days?