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Importance of a rest day

Exercise is good for us – we know that. But did you know rest days are equally as important when it comes to your health and fitness? That means while sticking to your weekly gym schedule is good for you, spending time working on rest and recovery is also an essential part of the process.

“Rest allows your muscles to rebuild and grow to develop leaner body mass. This as a result can speed up your resting metabolic rate (i.e. burn more calories); you’ll also build your strength and endurance a lot faster,” says Fernwood Fitness Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor Lexi.

So, while moving your body and maintaining your fitness has an array of benefits, over doing it can sometimes impact your progress.

“Depending on the mode, level of intensity and duration of your workouts it’s possible for regular exercising clients to lose their fitness by over-training,” Lexi says.

“Going too hard too often can accumulate fatigue due to inadequate recovery and when this occurs, their fitness will reach a point of diminishing returns where additional exercise will not necessarily produce gains unless there is a recovery state.

While it’s important to note that everyone is different with varying goals, Lexi says over-training can sometimes result in a decrease in performance, as well as the following symptoms:

  • Increased RPE (rate of perceived exertion) during your workout
  • Fatigue and moodiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Higher risk of injury
  • Metabolic imbalances

“To avoid injury and fatigue, you need to give your nerves, bones, connective tissue and muscles time to repair the microscopic tearing they endure throughout your workout and grow,” she says.

Mode, level of intensity and exercise duration all play a part in how much and how often you should rest in-between workouts. Speak to your Fernwood Personal Trainer about creating a tailored workout and recovery plan to meet your goals and improve your health and fitness.

New to training in the gym? Don’t forget to read 5 things to do post-workout.

Looking for more fitness motivation? Here are 5 ways to boost your cross trainer workout.


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