After cycling 79 miles in training yesterday... today is my rest day! Which I always find tricky. Active rest days are easier as I can workout with less intensity; sitting and not doing anything... I love just getting my body moving!
Rest & Active Rest days... what's the difference?
Rest days & active rest days are just as important as training. In Runner's World they explain the difference between rest and active rest days.
Rest days are for relaxation... sounds good right?! Sit back and enjoy the sunshine with a cuppa, and enjoy your muscles slowly rebuilding, repairing and gearing back up for the gym tomorrow.
Your active rest day on the other hand, is a light or low-impact session to get the blood flowing around the body and to different muscle groups.
Why is it really important to rest?
When you exercise small tears are created in your muscles. Adequate rest and sleep allows your muscles to repair and grow to enhance your performance for the next time (along with the correct hydration and nutrition). According to The Active Times, “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,” on top of that "you may experience some harmful side effects including decreased performance, fatigue, altered hormonal states, poor sleeping patterns, reproductive disorders, decreased immunity, loss of appetite, and mood swings.” Probably a good idea to take some time out to rest... which of course includes over 7 hours sleep a night.
Time to sit back and relax. Take off AT LEAST one rest day a week. Your body will thank you for it.