There is no question that leading an active lifestyle is important for your overall health. That being said, there are times you can absolutely push yourself too hard and do more harm than good. Whether you’re a casual runner or a lifelong bodybuilder — there is a time to keep pushing and a time to rest and recuperate.
Importance of Rest Days
The belief that you need to push yourself to the absolute limit to reach your fitness goals is all too common nowadays. Whether you’re training for a marathon, to hit a certain deadlift weight, or just to lose unwanted pounds — rest days are much more than just a day that you don’t have to workout!
Working out breaks down your muscle tissue, causing microscopic tears. Rest days are your body’s opportunity to allow your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild. If you’re lifting every day and not seeing improvements, it could very well be because you’re not giving your body time to recuperate and rebuild. In reality, by over-exhausting your body and not taking enough rest days, you may struggle to meet your fitness goals and put yourself at a dramatically increased risk of injury.
Increased Injury Risk
By continuously prioritizing work over rest, you’re putting much more on the line than your fitness goals! Over-exerting yourself puts your body at risk of both muscle and ligament injury in a multitude of ways.
When your muscles are fatigued, there is a much higher chance of causing injury to the muscle itself or the surrounding tissues. Your form tends to breakdown when you’re totally exhausted, putting a strain on other muscle groups that you may not be targeting — especially those that keep you stable like your core and lower back. When you skip rest days, your immune system also suffers. Excessive exercise can depress the immune system and increase inflammatory processes. To avoid putting your body in a compromising position, schedule and obey your rest days just as strictly as your workouts.
Pain Affecting Your Life?
While it’s common to think that you need to ‘be tough’ and push through an injury to keep up with your active lifestyle, it couldn’t be further from the truth! By ignoring the pain, you put yourself at risk of worsening your current ailment or injuring another muscle group/ligament in the process.
Don’t start 2019 with 2018 pain! If you’re nursing an injury, now is not the time to push it at the gym or to train for a marathon for the sake of your resolution. Instead, give us a call and we will help you work towards your goals confidently and safely.