I remember going on YouTube looking for some workout motivation on a dull day when I just wanted to curl under my comforter and watch football highlights till dawn. I was hit with a barrage of videos with dramatic music and coaches marching orders to sweat it out. Like in an army boot camp. 'No pain, no gain' they yelled. It worked. My adrenaline shot to the sky. I jumped out of bed and within minutes I was on my way to the gym crushing it. I kept up my game and kept pushing myself.
Two months later: I was hitting the snooze button more than ever, feeling tired, and showing early signs of overtraining. Luckily, my friend who’s a fitness trainer was there to pull me back.
This is not just my story. Millions of people are waking up to motivational videos like these, and gunning for glory - ready to give it all until they get what they want.
Science Proves OtherwiseRest days are essential. It’s not a hunch, but a science-backed claim with solid evidence. Rest gives your body and connective tissues time to heal. Even if you’re doing something like yoga or pilates that doesn’t involve heavy lifting - you need days to recover.
Rest days are critical for a healthy workout routine so your muscle cells can replace their energy stores to prep for your next sweat sesh.
Disciplined R&R (rest and recovery) can also aid in lowering the risk of training injuries. Many fitness buffs listen to their bodies less than YouTube inspirational videos. Sometimes the mind tricks us into pushing harder and often that voice in the head can drown all body signals. It’s because the mind doesn’t want to slow down and wants to stay high on dopamine.
Rest For Optimum RecoveryRest days don’t mean you’re losing your gains. On the contrary, you’re giving your muscles the time to reap the reward and make the gains. If you feel the itch for an afternoon sweat session, remind yourself that it’ll raise the cortisol levels which in turn affects your muscles. Without rest, a non-stop workout can cause your muscles hormone levels to slump. 24 hours pause won’t pause your muscle growth. However, it will prevent you from burning out and help you in gaining more in the long run.
Rest Day RecipeJust because you’re taking a day off doesn’t mean you need to be sloth all day. Dig into healthy habits. Go shopping and stock up on seasonal veggies and fruits. Look up recipes for healthy smoothies and meals. Go for a stroll with a friend or a dog.
Give It A Gun MassagerGun massagers or percussion massagers are a great way to loosen and relax post-workout tense muscles. If you haven’t got one already, then get a pro-grade gun massager that can pummel and prime your muscles before a workout and after.
There are two kinds of gym-goers you’ll face. One -“rest is for the weak”, and the other “resting for the week”. Don’t be either. Pushing yourself doesn’t mean driving yourself to burnout. That eventually leads to sapped motivation, low energy, and slumped muscle growth. Give yourself a day or two off for optimum gains.
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