Whatever kind of intense exercise you do, whether running, weightlifting, team sports, or hard work, your body needs rest days.
In fact, Healthline says rest days are just as important as exercise days, and no regimen is complete without both exercise and rest . Rest enhances your energy and restores the body to full capacity.
Why is rest important?
Rest allows your body to repair and recover. Healthline calls it "a critical part of progress, regardless of your fitness level or sport. Otherwise, skipping rest days can lead to overtraining or burnout."
You don't have to laze around watching TV on a rest day. But know that when you take time off, the benefits of exercise, that is, muscle growth, happen.
You may have heard through the years that when you exercise, microscopic tears are created in your muscles. That is true. It is during rest that a certain type of cell, called fibroblasts, repair the tears. The result? Your tissues heal, grow, and stronger muscles.
Another thing that happens is that carbohydrates in your muscles, called glycogen, gets replenished when you rest. While you exercise, the body is breaking down this glycogen to feed your workout. It needs to be restored.
Allowing your glycogen to be restored also helps you avoid muscle fatigue and soreness.
Your risk of injuries are also reduced because your muscles aren't overtired, and you won't, for example, drop a weight on your foot or use wrong form when doing your sport or exercise.
Another thing you'll avoid with rest days is repetitive use injuries.
Remember, if you get injured, you are going to have to take days off anyway.
It can be difficult to get motivated for just a normal routine, much less a very intense workout, if you are not rested. Overtraining can decrease performance, such that your endurance is off, your reaction times are slower, and you are less agile.
With enough rest, you can play at your peak and have successful workouts every time you go to the gym, track or field.
Exercising regularly can help your sleep patterns. But so can rest days. The body produces too much cortisol and adrenaline, energy-producing hormones, when you exercise too much. And subsequently, your sleep patterns can be disrupted.
A natural sleep aid
If you find you have trouble sleeping, try giving yourself rest days. You might also want to try VALI Sleep Well supplements. Some people don't want the heavy effects of a sleeping pill. But there are natural sleeping pill alternatives that don't cause the unwanted side effects, including VALI Sleep Well .
VALI Sleep Well has 3 mg of melatonin plus several other substances that are very beneficial in getting a good night's sleep.
This chiropractor gives the do's and don'ts of muscle recovery.
The nine other VALI Sleep Well ingredients formulated for their calming, sleep-inducing qualities are:
- Magnesium, to relieve insomnia and decrease the stress hormone cortisol that can keep you awake. Magnesium helps muscles relax.
- 5-HTP, an amino acid, 5-Hydroxytryptophan, that helps the body produce serotonin, which helps regulate the sleep cycle. 5-HTP also improves mood and eases stress and anxiety so you can fall asleep faster.
- GABA, a neurotransmitter that eases anxiety and reduces stress to treat insomnia. Scientists believe it is essential for deep sleep.
- Passion flower extract, an herb that calms and aids falling asleep and maintaining restful sleep.
- Chamomile flower extract, an herb known for its ability to calm stress and anxiety, and relax muscles. It is the main ingredient in "sleepy time" tea.
- Valerian extract, a root extract aids sleep and treats restlessness, nervousness, and anxiety. Sleep Well’s valerian extract is deodorized to minimize the unpleasant smell.
- L-theanine, an amino acid that reduces stress, calms the body, stimulates the production of GABA, and helps you stay asleep longer.
- Lemon balm extract, a member of the mint family, it is a calming herb that reduces stress, anxiety, eases pain, and promotes healthy sleep.
How to do rest days
You don't need to rest on days you just walk or do light cardio. But for other types of more intense cardio workouts, you should take a rest every three to five days, Healthline says.
If you think you just can't go a day without exercise, just walk or do some stretching to lighten your load some.
Experts recommend adults get between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 to 150 of vigorous exercise weekly. Or you can do a combination. Do, for example, three days a week of intense cardio, and on other days do other kinds of exercises. But take rest days in there.
Running is a bit different. You only want to do it three days a week in the beginning so you don't get overuse injuries. On your days off from running, exercise body parts and muscles other than the legs and butt.
For weightlifting, you want to work certain body parts on certain days, or if you do a total body workout, you want to take a day of rest in between your training.
Even if you're trying to lose weight, you should have rest days.
Make sure you get electrolytes
One way to get your salts is through the supplement VALI Electrolyte Salts.
Compete or work at your optimal intensity and comfort with VALI Electrolyte Salts. The capsules supply:
- 500 IU Vitamin D3 to help the body absorb calcium
- 20 mg calcium
- 15 mg magnesium
- 280 mg chloride
- 120 mg sodium
- 100 mg potassium
- 1 mg zinc
The capsules with caffeine also have 40 mg of the stimulant to boost your game if your energy is running out.
Don't worry about overdosing on VALI, if you take the capsules in moderation.
VALI did a blog called "Don't let a sweaty workout rob your body of vital nutrients." It has some valuable information.