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The Importance of Scheduling Rest Into Your Fitness Routine

We all know how important exercise is for your physical and mental health. A workout can help you destress, clear your mind, and keep your body in the shape you want it. However, what’s not talked about enough is the issue of overworking your body and underestimating the benefits of resting. No matter how fit you are your body needs time to rest every once in a while, and in this blog, we will run through why resting is an under-utilised component by many fitness fanatics, as well as the benefits resting provides.

Why Do We Need to Rest?


The first, and most obvious reason to take a rest day is fatigue. While working out is fantastic, each time you push yourself to complete that extra rep or run the additional kilometre, you put further stress on your body. Working out for several days in a row, especially through highly intense workouts, can leave you feeling drained. If you feel as though you are more and more tired each day following another workout, it might be time to listen to your body and take a break.

Emotional Changes

Loss in Motivation

Extreme Muscle Soreness

Lack of Progress

Another key time to take a break is if you notice your body is not only tired but that you are not progressing the same way as you usually do in your fitness routines. If you are finding exercises you normally do with ease, much harder it could be due to your body being run down and is again a sign that you should rest.



It seems like an obvious one, but many people ignore when they are injured and continue to push through the pain. What people don’t think about is that by taking a day or two to recover you could save yourself weeks or months of having to rest if you do work out too hard and cause further injury to yourself.


Benefits of Rest

So, we’ve gone through all the times you should rest, but what are the actual benefits of resting. We’ve put together some key benefits of adding resting days into your fitness regime.

Better Mental Health

Builds Muscle

Reduces Muscle Soreness

As we work out our body produces the tiny tears in our muscles which ultimately build up, especially during more intense workouts. This causes the little aches and pains in our body following our fitness sessions. However, resting allows our body to repair our muscles after a workout, and in turn reduces the pain in our muscles. Meaning if your muscles feel a bit delicate after exercise make sure you give them adequate time to rejuvenate.

Fewer Injuries

Working out might build your fitness levels, strengthen muscles along with bones, and provide a host of other benefits, but by being “too fit” you can do more damage than good. The more strain you put on your body the more likely you are to cause yourself an injury. That’s why taking a rest can allow your body to recover properly before your next workout which in turn reduces your risk of injury. Having the correct balance between exercising and resting is a key factor to ensuring you remain injury free at the top of your fitness game.

Allows Your Body to Adjust to Your Fitness Workload

We’ve discussed it above, but it is important to remember that whether you are new to fitness or starting a new routine your body will need time to adjust to the changes within your fitness workload. This means that rest is crucial to maintaining peak body and mind conditioning as your fitness progresses.

Ensures Peak Fitness Performance

To continuously hit your top levels in your workouts your body needs to be prepared which is where rest comes in. Sitting out a workout if you’re drained can be fair more beneficial than forcing yourself to work out and can set you up for peak performance in your next workout.

How Many Days of Rest Should You Take?

What to Do on Rest Days

Often, if you work out on a regular basis, it can feel odd not having to do so on a rest day. This should be embraced though, as you give your body and mind time to relax, but in case you need a few ideas on what to do on your rest days we’ve got some suggestions for you.

Active Recovery


Another form of active recovery that people often underestimate is meditation. If your body and mind are used to the constant grind of intense workouts, it can be extremely helpful to partake in the soothing, low impact, less stressful, activity of meditation. This may be by yourself or with friends, with a class or with the assistance of an online video, but the most important thing is that you are not pushing your body as you take time out to relax. It is also useful to use a foam roller after meditation or stretching as it can reduce the aches and pains within your body, which can also be useful after each of your workouts too.

Embrace the Outdoors


Life can be overwhelming at times, between jobs, family, studying, working out, and so on. It can sometimes be forgotten how important socialising is. While we are busy fitting in the next rep, or another email for work, we should also remember to make time to meet up with friends and family in order to take a break from the rest of the world. You can meet up for a coffee, do a group activity, head to the park with your kids, whatever it may be, just be sure to take a break to allow your mind and body to relax.

Treat Day

Many of us forget that we need to let our hair down even during our fitness filled lives, and that often means we prevent ourselves from enjoying the foods we truly enjoy. A “treat day” or “treat meal” is when you loosen up a little and allow yourself to embrace the foods you don’t on a normal day. This can be a brilliant thing to fit in with your rest day, as it not only gives you something to look forward to, but you can also spend time making your treat day meal or head out for it if you like. This doesn’t mean you sit down and eat as much junk food as possible, but it does mean you indulge in something tasty that makes you happy and encourages you to rest.

Sit Down and Kick Back

Last but not least is the thing that we all need every once in a while, which is to just take a complete day of rest. Don’t be afraid to pick a movie, get in some snacks and chill out for the day. As long as you don’t go overboard and completely let yourself go, you will be doing your body and mind a favour as you hit your relaxation phase. This can be particularly useful on those cold, wet days, when the outdoors just don’t appeal to you, even treat yourself by running a nice bath and soaking your muscles for ultimate relaxation.

So, there you have it! All the reasons behind why integrating a rest day into your fitness routine is not only a nice thing to do but is actually vital. There are so many benefits to be gained from rest, especially when you are pushing yourself to your limits in every workout. Remember to get the best results possible through your workout regime you need to allow your mind and body the time to recover as well as relax!

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