Every active athlete or trainee who does more than 5 trainings in a week is exposed to great stress on his muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments.
Many people, who are working out on a daily basis, actually are mistaken by the term REST DAY.
REST DAY = TRAINING DAY.
Yes, you read that very clear. Every rest day is a training day by itself.
Many of you will ask, but wait, how am I training when I am sitting in front of my TV and watch movies all day? Is that training?
Obviously not, but if you don’t give your body a break after a long week full of workouts, you will find yourself and your energy on a low level.
We need to mention one more formula.
REST = MUSCLE GROWTH.
This is our all time favorite.
There are tons of scientific proofs that muscles grow faster, when they are getting a quality rest period. While you exercise, you tear and break each and every muscle fiber of your body and so, your body needs time to reconstruct those fibers, build muscles and get it prepared for the upcoming week.
In our opinion, we often suggest swimming as a rest day activity, because it relaxes the muscles. Besides swimming, there are many other options that you can choose on a rest day, but today, we will mention our top eight things you can do, while you are giving yourself a day off from your training program.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch.
Your muscles get tight throughout the week, despite of the fact, you stretch before and after each workout. So, there’s nothing better than a full body stretch in the morning of your resting day.
One of my favorites, the foam roll will provide a great massage to your body, and it will relax all tightened and painful areas in your body. You can choose one foam roll exercise per muscle group, and roll yourself for 30 seconds. If you have painful areas, you can add more sets. For example, 3 sets of 30 seconds rolling will work towards releasing the pain in the area.
If you are a kind of a person who can’t sit all day and rest, then you can watch movie and stretch the body. You can also go for 30 minutes of jogging or slow running. This is called as recovery run, and despite it may look like it is exhausting the body, actually it is relaxing the muscles and it helps in faster recovery.
Icing and Ice bath
You must have seen many athletes, especially basketball, football, tennis and volleyball players putting ice on their knees and ankles. Or, you may have seen many of them taking an ice bath.
These methods are used as for speedy muscle recovery, especially after a hard training. But, this should be implemented as a recovery method on your rest days too.
Plan your workouts and diet for the upcoming week.
If you have plenty of free time during the rest day, it won’t be any bad, if you spend just 45 minutes to plan your workout schedule for the upcoming week. If you did running on the treadmill last week, it will be good to switch to something else like sprinting on the beach or doing plyometric exercises, the next week. Also, don’t forget about your diet, try to make changes in your meals as well. For instance, if you had chicken, and steak, now, you can change it to beef for this week; similarly, if you had almonds before, now, you may want to switch to peanuts and so on.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep for me is one of the most important “off” parts of a great training program.
By getting enough sleep, your muscles and body will get the deserved rest, your energy levels will increase and, you will feel fresh and ready for the workout on the following day.
It is suggested to get 8 hours of quality sleep for great results. When you are on a rest day, I suggest you to sleep even more, like 10 hours, for example. And, despite the night’s extended sleep, you can still take a 2 hour nap during the day.
Go out for a walk
It is a rest day, so take your dog and go to the park, or you can take your girlfriend / boyfriend and go to the beach.
You can go for shopping if you want to, you can do whatever you want because you have whole day in front of you.
Spend time with your friends
Order pizza and play video games, or go out with your friends, and enjoy until late. Relax and for a moment, stop thinking what you will be training tomorrow and which exercises you will be implementing.
These are our top 8 things you can do on your rest days. Don’t forget the fact that the muscles needs time to recover in order to grow and function properly.
Eating fast / junk food once in a week won’t slow your muscle building process, or it won’t affect your sport performances. It may, instead, help in increasing the metabolism of the body.
CHANGE IS GOOD.
Get plenty of rest, get quality 8 hour sleep, stretch, foam roll and ice.
If you are one of those hyperactive people that I know, go for a recovery run, climb on a mountain or something.
Spend time with your loved ones, go to the bar and drink cocktail with your best friend, or take your dog for a stroll.
REST DAY IS A MUST so you better choose one!