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We hope you're all having a great 2020 so far! A lot of us have exercise as one of our 2020 resolutions and goals. While exercise is so great for our health, mentally and physically, rest and recovery are also equally important. You don't want to overexercise and get burnt out so early in the year.
It's okay to slow down and take rest days. Here are some reasons why rest and recovery are so important:
1. Reduce the risk of injury. If you're in pain, then it's a good indication that you're overtraining! If you overwork your body, you're more prone to injuries such as dropping weights and falling out of form. You'll also be putting your muscles to repetitive stress and strain, which will force you to take more rest days than planned.
2. Better performance. This might sound counterintuitive but a lack of progress in your performance or physique changes could indicate overtraining. Exercise results in microscopic tears in your muscle so you need rest days in order for your muscle tissue to heal and grow, resulting in stronger muscles. It's when you're resting that the magic happens.
3. Better sleep. Exercise might give you a good night's sleep but taking rest days will also improve your sleep quality. When you exercise, energy-boosting hormones like cortisol and adrenaline increase. Overtraining will only overproduce these hormones, which will make it hard for you to get quality sleep. Rest days can help return your hormones to a normal and balanced state, resulting in better sleep.
Some of us, ironically, feel restless during rest days. Here are some of the things you can do to get the most out of your recovery days:
1. Yoga. The best part about doing yoga during rest days is that it will help you feel refreshed and ready for your next workout. Yoga can help you stretch out your muscles, improve flexibility, improve body awareness, and give you a sense of calmness.
2. Low-impact exercise. If you're feeling antsy and can't keep still during rest days, consider doing a low-impact workout. Examples of low-impact workouts include walking, biking, and swimming.
3. Protein intake. It's important that you're still getting enough protein during your rest days as it will help with muscle repair that happens during rest. If you're having difficulty getting the right amount of protein, consider protein powder that's made from clean ingredients. Soluxe's protein powders are made from clean and natural ingredients with up to 21g of protein and under 100 calories a serving.
The next time you feel guilty about missing a workout, look back at this article. Remember that progress happens when you rest and that you can still keep active during rest days. Train hard and have fun while doing it but don't overdo it!