Best Rest Day Ever! How To Maximize Your Rest & Recovery Days
Hey there, Synergee Athletes!
We are at Part Three of our series on REST!
I have decided to focus on rest because it is freakin’ important! Working out intensely is going to build a stronger mind and body; but working out intensely everyday without breaks? No sir-ee! Let’s slow that roll juuuust a bit.
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the signs and symptoms of overtraining. By recognizing the signs and symptoms, you can make an informed decision to take a rest.
This rest is important because, as National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified trainer Russell Wynter explains, “When the stress is too much physiologically for the system to handle, it can and will lead to overuse injuries, such as stress fractures, muscle strains, and joint pain.”
In Part 2, we talked about 2 AWESOME stretches you can do with our Synergee Core Mat!
(It’s worth mentioning that in a past article, we also talked about shoulder rehabilitation using our Power Bands, too – which would be another great resource for gently moving, working, and stretching out those muscles.)
NOW, let’s talk about how to make your rest and recovery days as restful, recovery-filled, and useful as possible!
3 Ways to Maximize your Rest & Recovery Days
1. ACTIVE REST
What the heck is active rest? That sounds like an oxymoron!
Active rest involved light exercises that allow you to recover and do not put undue stress on your body. It can help you feel less sore after a workout.
It’s especially awesome for anyone who is TERRIFIED of a sedentary day!! But have NO FEAR! There is tons you can do to keep your body moving while allowing it to recover!
Some examples of Active Rest would be stretching or doing some light cardio, like walking, jogging, cycling or swimming.
Taking an active rest day is a great way to switch things up; and it is especially awesome for exploring somewhere OTHER than the gym!
Get outside, get some fresh air, have a friend join you, do it while watching TV, or whatever else that will encourage you slow it right down.
And if you couple these active rest activities with these other activities, you can enjoy catching up on your social life at the same time! Maintaining healthy relationships, hobbies, and interests outside of the gym are super important, too!
2. FOCUS ON OTHER WELLNESS ACTIVITIES
A Rest Day is the perfect time to catch up on other activities that can improve your health and wellness that aren’t working out.
Here are some ideas for activities to which you can dedicate that hour you usually spend at the gym!
- Enjoy a family meal
- Do some meal prep for the week
- Use that gym hour to get an extra hour of sleep
- Spend that time meditating, journaling, or taking a bath
- If there is another task that is causing you stress and you’ve been putting it off! Send that email, apply for a job, do some housework, visit your Grandma, do your taxes, or whatever else is nagging at you day in and day out.
Whatever it is that helps you feel rejuvenated, spend the time you would normally spend working out doing THAT instead!
Achieving a healthy lifestyle is about achieving balance. Take this time to prioritize some other wellness activities that tend to take the backburner to working out.
Let them have their time to shine on your rest days!
3. Embrace being lazy
WHAT?! EMBRACE THE L-WORD?!
Yes. Relax. You are human. And rest is good.
Changing up your routine and schedule is good, too. Practice getting into the mindset that taking 1 day off from the gym will not result in you gaining 20 lbs instantaneously; nor will it mean you won’t be able to do a pull-up tomorrow.
Of course, resting TOO much or letting weeks go by and embracing the recovery stage to an extreme is not the intention behind this Tip.
But take a second to realize how BUSY we are. When was the last time you kicked up your feet? When’s the last time you let yourself just BE?
Being at the gym everyday and being someone who never takes a day off has a weird allure to it, but it is also tied to increased burnout, anxiety disorders, and high stress. And these things are not good for your health, either!
So our final tip for having the best rest day: allow yourself to rest. Delegate some tasks to your kids or partner. Because I am SURE you deserve it!
THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!
Well, that ends our 3 part series on REST! May your next break from the gym be restful, recovery-filled, and as productive or unproductive as your body wishes for it to be!