Updated: May 16
Working out is important! The frequency, the exercises, the intensity. Many variables have an impact on your progression.
But it can also feels overwhelming sometimes.
If training is key, so is recovery.
Here are 2 great reasons to get enough rest.
Rest your body
What is happening when you lift weights? In short, you are challenging your body to make it creates adaptations. And by adaptations understand creating and developing muscles fibers to allow your body to be able to answer the next challenge the best way possible.
But before being able to do that, and after you broke those muscle fibers with weights lifting, your body will then rebuild stronger ones, during your resting time. Which is why, recovery is priomardial.
So if you think about it, recovering is part of your training. If you don't give enough time to your body to build back, then it won't be able to create adaptations.
There are different ways to allow it to do so.
If you are lifting weight 4 to 5 times per week, you probably better do body split (push-pull-legs, or upper-lower etc). This will give you enough time to rest some body parts before working them out again.
If you are training 2 to 3 times per week, a full body workout will probably suits you better. Because you will have full days off between each session (for instance you can train mondays, wednesdays and fridays).
Being active but not over doing during your days off is key. Walking, cycling, stretching, are good activities when it comes to recover. This will help your blood flowing through your body and irrigate your damaged muscles.
You can also use some equipements that will improve your recuperation (check here your 5 essentials to recover).
Getting enough rest will help you last longer, reduce your risks of injuries and so improve more.
Rest your mind
If recovery is good for your body, it is also good for your mind.
Fitness can become a bit obsessive.
Chasing a better health, a better look, better performances etc are fair goals and a good motivation but it can feel overwhelming from time to time.
Having some good rest days will allow you to stop thinking about it for a bit, relax your mind and take some distance.
Doing less on some days is also a good way to keep up your motivation. If you want serious results, you have to be consistent and deconnecting can help you with that.
Also, it is often when you are not thinking about it that you can find new ideas. If you are getting bored by the way you train, you might lose some motivation (how to avoid boredom in your trainings).
In this case, trying out new activities might be helpful. It does not mean you completely have to switch to a new sport or way to train, but for a short amount of time you can reduce your workouts and play more basketball or football for instance.
Training is not always fun, but if you want to last as long as possible, you also have to like what you are doing. It can be for various reasons (look, performance, well-being etc), but if you ever lose it, it might be good to slow down a little bit, whilst remaining active.