Many of us are moving a million steps a minute trying to get everything done. We want to get our workouts done, work our full time job, part time job, feed, the kids, feed ourselves, and be social. It’s hard to do it all and still find time to rest. But listen, you need to make time to rest! Rest days are extremely important for your body and actually aid in getting healthy and losing weight. Don’t believe me? Keep reading and you’ll see the importance of rest days.
What is a Rest Day?
There are two different types of rest days: active rest days and ,well, regular rest days. An active rest day is not actually what we plan to discuss with you guys today, but, I’ll give you some quick info on that too! An active rest day is going to be your days of light working out such as going for a walk, doing yoga, or stretching. These are also important! Active rest days can help to eliminate toxins, reduce lactic acid buildup, increase flexibility, and reduce soreness. Active rest days are just as important as a regular rest day because they are so beneficial for your body. We will cover this topic in full another day- don’t worry.
A regular rest day is going to be extremely different: you literally just rest. We want you to know there is a huge difference between resting and just being lazy. We highly encourage a few true rests days a month to let your body fully recover.
You need to listen to your body and know when it needs a break. It’s not healthy to work out hard 365 days a year, and it’s also not necessary. We know you have goals you are working towards but if you over do it you risk injury and then push yourself back even further. Take the time to rest. Your body will thank you!
Besides the reasons we have already gone over, rest and relaxation is important for your bodies cortisol levels. Huh? Cortisol is a hormone in your body that is released when your body feels stressed. The more stressed your body is, from working out or everyday life, the more cortisol will be in your bloodstream. Cortisol relates directly to weight gain, so a stressed and over worked body can actually equal weight gain. This is why continuing to push yourself and over working your body can actually have a negative effect on your fitness results.
But that’s not all that cortisol can affect. When your body releases cortisol you start to have cravings for foods such as carbs, potato chips, and candy- all which provide quick energy. When you start to fulfill those cravings by eating them, your body stores that extra fat mostly in your abdominal area. Besides those cravings, you will also just become hungrier more often when your body is releasing cortisol. All things we don’t want when we have goals we are working on! And lastly, cortisol can decrease your muscle mass; less muscle means you won’t burn as much fat.
As you can see, increased stressed on your body can have a lot of negative effects on your overall goals. Take the time to let your body recover and also find ways to help your body reduce its extra stress. Adding meditation and yoga into your routine is a great way to focus on your breathing and reset your mind. A well rested, stress free, and relaxed body is key for your goals!