As beginners we are so keen to get started with exercising that we forget that our body does also need time to rest. How often I would see the January New Years resolution gym joiners come into the gym, every day for the first 3 weeks before burning themselves out and not coming back for months. So save yourself time and money, by making the most of your sessions and by utilising your rest days.
Why are rest days important? In the ‘all or nothing’ society that we live in, individuals can be in that frantic mindset of “I need to train everyday, because then I burn more calories” or “I won’t bulk if I don’t train today”. Well actually, training intensely excessively with no proper rest may cause you to experience some harmful side effects. These include decreased performance, fatigue, altered hormonal balance, decreased immunity, and increased risk of injury. It’s so important to pace yourself, especially when you’re new to training or returning after a long time away from it. Your body needs time to recover, for the muscles to heal.
At the moment, I’m training to run a marathon in September. I am being strict on myself with a pretty steady training schedule to get me started. However today, I had planned to go to the gym. Id just finished a night shift, and to be quite honest, I was just exhausted. So I gave myself a rest day. I listened to my body, and decided training today would be unproductive. Its’ ok not to feel bad for this. Ive rearranged my training for the rest of the week so I’m still being productive with my sessions. But just remember, missing one session because you don’t feel up to it, isn’t a problem. Just keep yourself focused on your goal, and get yourself back into a routine as soon as possible, remembering to plan in your rest days.