Why Active Rest Days Are Important
Achieving your fitness goals takes work, but working too much will keep you from getting maximum gains. So, what’s the solution? Active rest days. HomeGrown Lifting takes progress seriously, so we’re sharing what active rest days are and why you need to take them.
What is an Active Rest Day?
Active rest means you take the day off from rigorous training but keep your body moving. This means different things for everyone; you may spend your rest day cleaning your house, doing yoga, or meal-prepping for the upcoming week. Your needs will vary depending on your fitness and training intensity levels, but you should schedule at least one day of active rest each week. Always listen to your body and take an extra rest day if you’re feeling particularly sore and tired or have a lot going on elsewhere in your life. Mental health is just as vital as physical health; the two go hand-in-hand.
Remember that weight training and cardio workouts have different requirements for recovery, and a muscle group should have two days of rest between workouts. If Monday is a leg day, you should ease up on those muscles on Tuesday and Wednesday. Cardio is never off-limits, but you should take the intensity down a few notches on active rest days.
Why Do I Need Active Rest Days?
- Contrary to popular belief, your muscles don’t get bigger while you’re in beast mode. Muscles gain mass during recovery when the microscopic tears from lifting are healing.
- Taking a day off can help you avoid fitness plateaus. Your body releases stress hormones when you train, and constant exposure to them can lead to burnout. It’s the same idea as working overtime every day and going in on your days off; it may seem like you’re getting ahead, but at some point, the stress hormones will impair your functioning.
- Giving your body a break means you can train harder the next time you hit the gym. Your body will have plenty of time to repair itself, as well as refill all of its energy stores, setting you up perfectly for a great workout when you get back to it.
- Getting fit and staying that way requires long-term habits and lifestyle changes. Many people who don’t work out regularly chalk it up to a lack of time. Permitting yourself to take a day off means you’re less likely to see exercise as a punishment and will find ways to make workouts fit into your lifestyle instead of the other way around.
- If you’re anything like us, strength training is an activity you love, but it shouldn’t be your only hobby. An active rest day allows you to explore another interest, like drawing, reading, or spending extra time with your loved ones.
When you do get back to the gym after your rest day, you’ll want to use the best equipment on the days you train. HomeGrown Lifting manufactures our barbells, barbell clips, and bumper plates in the USA to ensure premium quality at lower prices. We ship to the lower 48 states and offer local pickup for customers near Nicholasville, KY, and Charleston, SC. Contact us today with your questions or to place an order!