Resting time after a workout allows your body and mind to fully recover and grow. While we spend a lot of time encouraging you to work out to stay fit, rest is an essential part of an effective workout routine. Some people worry that if they rest a day they won’t be consistent in building strength, increasing speed or losing weight. However, this isn’t the case. Think, for example, how you feel after a poor night’s rest. Your body starts to fall into a catabolic state (break down) and your cognitive skills are affected. This applies to your body too when you don’t get enough rest after a workout.
You become more prone to severe muscle soreness, suppressed immune system, decrease in strength and performance, improper sleep and injury. Furthermore, a day’s rest makes you excited to jump back into your program. That being said, below is how to properly rest from your workout.
Any kind of workout requires a day off to rest and regain lost energy. In fact, if your body is well fueled it can run for two or more consecutive days. Sleep is the most important part of recovery since it repairs everything from torn muscle tissues to hormone levels. If you’re concerned about muscle gain, sleep helps your body perform protein synthesis at a much higher rate.
Thus, eating a protein pack before sleep can help increase muscle gains. The whole point of resting is to recuperate. That’s why you might hear a bodybuilder or weighted workout enthusiast say “today is an arms day” or” tomorrow is legs day. Meaning they will be focusing the day’s work out on a fresh muscle group and giving other muscle group time to rest.
Increase on Protein
A rest day doesn’t mean you miss on proteins. Studies suggest that for a proper and fruitful rest you should consume protein within 30 minutes after an intense workout. From the time you finish your workout to the next 24-hour period, your body’s ability to utilize protein to build muscle remains elevated. Meaning if your resting time falls within this period, your body will be needing protein to rebuild torn muscle tissue even if you’re not inflicting any new damage. So invest in protein foods. In other words, consuming sufficient protein every day gives your muscles the best chance to rebuild as strong as they can after every single workout. What’s a better way to take a day off and still refuel your body?
For a proper day rest and quick recovery, your body needs to be hydrated which helps reduce fatigue, improve mood and cognitive function. Additionally, water is important when working out for optimal functionality. Anyone who says that they don’t require water during a workout, might not achieve the required results at the end of that workout. There is no limit to the amount of water you should take. In fact, drink so much that when you urinate, your pee is the color of light lemonade.
Eat the Rainbow
For a proper recovery, it’s important you ensure you’re getting enough macronutrients such as fats, carbohydrate, and proteins. When you consume a good amount of these nutrients, then during a workout, your body is able to use those key nutrients. When resting ensure to consume more of antioxidant-rich, micronutrient-rich and vitamin-rich foods. Therefore, throw away those fries and resist the urge for cupcakes. Instead, increase fruits and vegetable consumption. As a matter of fact, have vegetables in a rainbow of colors so as to have different types to choose from. In your menu include healthy fats, like avocado, salmon, olive oil, omega 3 supplements all to help combat inflammation. Eating healthy food makes you rest properly after a workout.
How inactive your resting day depends on how intense the previous workout was. If your workout involves high-intensity routine, then your rest day should be complete of any activity. The most important thing you can do is take a casual walk but not any type of physical job. However, for a light to moderate workout, you can involve a more active recovery day such as yoga classes, playing sports outside or taking long walks. It’s also important to decrease training load especially if you’ve achieved the desired result and incorporate more stretches to the program. Most importantly, ensure that any type of activity you undertake on your rest day helps your mind to take a break. For a beginner, you should rest every third day while for more experienced exercisers, they should take a rest once a week.
Remember, the workout is meant to keep our bodies healthy but not stressed out.
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