Going to the gym everyday seems like the best way to gain muscle and lose weight, but you might be getting ahead of yourself. For most people, rest days are great for rebuilding muscle and connective tissue, preventing injuries, and even giving you a morale boost when you need it most.

Taking a rest day doesn’t mean you’re lazy, and it should be an important part of any workout routine. 

Resting To Rebuild

Everytime you’re working out, whether it’s at a gym alone or in a group training class, you’re creating micro-tears in your muscles. That might sound bad, but we promise it’s not. The 24-48 hours after a workout allow for your muscles to repair themselves, growing larger and stronger. This process is known as muscle protein synthesis, which can only happen during rest.

Not only are you rebuilding your muscles on rest days, you’re also allowing the cells in your muscles to resupply on fuel needed for performing your next workout. Glycogen is stored in your muscles and allows you to train for long periods of time. Once the glycogen stores are depleted, you’ll start to feel tired and sore in your workouts.

Connective tissue (ie. tendons) transfer force from muscle to muscle. And just like muscle growth from workouts, during your rest days, these connective tissues grow strong. 

Avoiding Injuries With Rest

Want to know one of the best tips for staying safe while exercising? Rest Regularly.

If you’re working out too much, your body will feel overworked and you’ll have a much higher chance of doing a move with bad form, taking a wrong step, or even dropping weight on yourself or someone near you. Overtraining exposes you to repetitive stress and strain, and if you injure yourself instead of taking a day off for rest, you could be out from working out longer than you want. 

Rest Days Are Great For Morale

Consistency is one of the most important parts of any workout routine, and overtraining and not taking rest days could seriously derail your consistency. If you’re not used to working out all the time, your body is going to feel it twice as hard as someone who already has a workout habit. 

Progress is all about moving forward in a controlled way, not by going all out and then burning out. Going to the gym every day without rest seems like a great idea until you can’t maintain that consistency anymore and take a significant amount of time off. Then you lose all the gains or losses you’ve been so proud of.

Give yourself the much needed boost in morale and take a rest day. Even if it’s an active rest day where you go for a hike or walk on the beach, giving your body some time to rest is important. If you’re looking for a better understanding of rest and why you need it, talk to a trainer at OFC. You can sign up for a free class, then pick the brain of your trainer before or after class!